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Fauna recovery during succession in neotropical forests

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Camilla Presente Pagotto
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Master's Dissertation
Press: São Paulo.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Instituto de Biociências (IBIOC/SB)
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Renata Pardini; Gislene Maria da Silva Ganade; Paulo Inácio de Knegt López de Prado
Advisor: Renata Pardini

This study aims at investigating fauna recovery during forest succession using two distinct approaches. In the first chapter, in order to identify the gaps and opportunities for advancing our understanding of this subject, we carried out a review of articles on succession in animal communities in neotropical forests, which were critically analyzed in relation to: (1) the study regions and study groups, (2) the quality with respect to the adequacy of the sampling design, (3) the observed patterns (diversity, biomass and structure), and (4) the theoretical basis. We found and analyzed 33 studies, which focused on a few wildlife groups, especially birds, mammals, and ants. In general, most studies are descriptive, with no explicit expectations about the patterns and mechanisms responsible for wildlife recovery, lack adequate sampling design, especially concerning the justification for the allocation of sampling sites with respect to confounding factors, and quantify succession into categories, which are often imprecise and arbitrary. The gaps identified in this review indicate the limitation of our current knowledge on the patterns and mechanisms associated with succession in animal communities in neotropical forests, which consequently implies in the lack of information for developing management and restoration plans for these forests. The second chapter refers to an empirical investigation on the recovery of small mammal communities across successional stages in a continuous area of Atlantic Forest. We verified the congruence of the observed changes in community richness, composition and structure with the expectations generated by the two main mechanisms proposed in the literature: (1) species replacement caused by trade-offs, associated with the gradient in net primary productivity and resource availability during succession, or (2) increase in diversity caused by the possibility of niche partitioning, associated with increased vegetation biomass and complexity, and increased resource diversity during this process. Although community richness, structure and composition were not influenced by succession, there was a change in the abundance of some species, with some increasing and others decreasing from younger to older forests. Our results indicate that the hypothesis on trade-offs is more plausible to explain the recovery of small mammal communities during forest succession (AU)

FAPESP's process: 10/02797-5 - Arborial small mammals in a mosaic of forests in different successional stages: influence of forest structure and resource availability on species dsitribution
Grantee:Camilla Presente Pagotto
Support Opportunities: Scholarships in Brazil - Master