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Does the replacement of native forest with eucalyptus plantations influences the structure of anuran-prey trophic networks?

Grant number: 23/06268-7
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2023
Status:Discontinued
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Applied Ecology
Principal Investigator:Marcio Roberto Costa Martins
Grantee:Augusto Nunes Carvalho
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:20/12658-4 - Challenges to the conservation of amphibians and squamate reptiles, with emphasis on the Brazilian fauna: from basic information to conservation actions, AP.BTA.TEM
Associated scholarship(s):23/16700-3 - Does the replacement of native forest with eucalyptus plantations influences the structure of anuran-prey trophic networks?, BE.EP.IC

Abstract

Ecological interactions between predator and prey are fundamental to the comprehension of animal communities organization. These interactions can be collectively represented by interaction networks, through which it is possible to evaluate qualitatively and quantitatively the emergence of non-random structures. As the main structures found, there is nestedness, which describes when specialist species interact with a subset of generalist species prey, and modularity, which describes sets of predators and prey that interact more with each other than with the rest of the network. Among the factors that shape these patterns, we have community attributes like richness, abundance and species composition. These attributes are influenced by environmental changes, as described for vertebrates in tropical forest that suffered substitution of native forest with silviculture. Therefore, it is expected that the substitution of native forest with silviculture will lead to changes in the interaction networks patterns, but how this substitution impacts the structure of trophic networks is still underexplored. We hypothesize that, through a filter of specialist predators, there is a rise in connectance and loss of nestedness and modularity in the silviculture, when compared with the native forest. This project aims to test these predictions through the description of anuran-prey weighted networks in a native Atlantic Forest community and a Eucalyptus sp. plantation community. To achieve this, we will characterize and compare the diet of anuran amphibians from the native Atlantic Forest community and a Eucalyptus sp. plantation community and characterize the interaction networks from these environments.

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