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Diversity and abundance variation of endophytic fungi in the island and continental populations of Epidendrum fulgens (Orchidaceae)

Grant number: 23/17832-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2024
Effective date (End): July 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Botany - Phytogeography
Principal Investigator:Fábio Pinheiro
Grantee:Giovana Narezi Trotta
Supervisor: Salvatore Cozzolino
Host Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Research place: Università degli Studi di Napoli Frederico II (UNINA), Italy  
Associated to the scholarship:23/15411-8 - Variation in the diversity and abundance of endophytic and mycorrhizal fungi between island and continental populations of Epidendrum fulgens (Orchidaceae), BP.IC


Most of land plants associate with fungi and their interactions constitute an important part of several ecosystem processes. The taxonomic composition and fungal diversity show spatiotemporal variation, changing over time and along environmental conditions. Variations in fungal communities associated with orchids may impact their abundance, distribution, and coexistence with other species in the environment. Depending on the conditions of where a population is, the same orchid species may be colonized by different mycorrhizal and endophytic fungi in distinct habitats. Epidendrum fulgens (Orchidaceae) has populations that inhabit locations with different environmental conditions, impacting both their morphology and genetics. Thus, the objective of this project is to analyze the effects of island geographic isolation and different environmental conditions on the diversity and population composition of endophytic fungi of E. fulgens, which occupies restingas on the mainland and rocky outcrops in the Alcatrazes Archipelago (SP). Our hypotheses are: 1) The fungal diversity in the population from Alcatrazes Island is lower than in continental populations and 2) The populations of fungi colonizing orchids on Alcatrazes Island are distinct from the continental ones, due to different environmental conditions. Through this project, it will be possible to elucidate some of the mechanisms operating in ongoing speciation processes, focusing on the factors that contribute to the generation of diversity found in naturally fragmented environments, such as marine islands. Through this understanding, tools can be created for conservation and restoration practices, essential for the current scenario of climate change and anthropic changes, whose impact is significant in rich regions such as the Neotropics.

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