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CHANGES IN THE RIVERSCAPE STRUCTURE OF AMAZON STREAMS AND THEIR EFFECTS ON ECO-HYDROLOGICAL CONNECTIVITY

Grant number: 22/15332-8
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2023
Effective date (End): February 28, 2025
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Forestry Resources and Forestry Engineering - Nature Conservation
Principal Investigator:Silvio Frosini de Barros Ferraz
Grantee:Gabriel Oliveira Ferraz
Host Institution: Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Road construction threatens the Amazon by driving deforestation and causing the fragmentation of remaining forests. The effects of this dynamic on the landscape structure result in several impacts on ecosystems. However, the consequences for the watercourses of the largest hydrographic basin on the planet are still uncertain, but highly relevant. The interaction of rural and forest roads with the hydrography, through crossings, causes occasional changes in the watercourse and its riparian zone, but which entail cumulative impacts along the hydrographic network. This is due to the inherent connectivity of aquatic ecosystems. The connectivity status of the Amazon hydrography still unduly exploited, especially in relation to lower-order courses, the igarapés. Thus, the study aims to evaluate the impact of opening roads on the ecohydrological connectivity of Amazonian streams and its consequences for biodiversity. As part of the multidisciplinary project entitled "Understanding and conserving tropical freshwater ecosystems" funded by UKRI (United Kingdom Research and Innovation), the study will be carried out in the municipalities of Paragominas and Santarém, state of Pará. Starting from the mapping and identification of crossings in streams of up to 3rd order, data will be collected in the field referring to the characteristics of the structures associated with the crossings and their effects on the riparian landscape and ecohydrological processes. In the end, the data from the spatial analysis in conjunction with field collection will enable the calculation of the Connectivity Status Index (CSI) of the streams, in addition to providing a basis for further analyzes regarding the integrity of the streams.

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