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Phenology of deciduous dry forests: a comparison at multiple spatial scales using phenocams and drones

Grant number: 19/11835-2
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: October 01, 2019 - September 30, 2021
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology
Principal Investigator:Leonor Patricia Cerdeira Morellato
Grantee:Leonor Patricia Cerdeira Morellato
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Rio Claro. Rio Claro , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers: José Romualdo de Sousa Lima ; Josiclêda Domiciano Galvincio ; MAGNA SOELMA BESERRA DE MOURA ; Rodolfo Marcondes Silva Souza ; Rodrigo de Queiroga Miranda ; Rômulo Simões Cezar Menezes ; Thieres George Freire da Silva

Abstract

The temporal patterns of leaf production in plant communities from seasonally dry environments are influenced by climatic factors, such as the amount and distribution of rainfall. The leafing patterns are directly associated to the gas and water exchange, the capacity of plants to fix CO2 and, consequently, the productivity of the seasonal biomes such as Cerrado and Caatinga. The present project aims to investigate the climatic drivers of leaf exchange on seasonally dry deciduous vegetations: the Caatinga in Pernambuco, and the Cerrado in São Paulo. We propose the use of new and advanced technologies to monitor sites across both biomes, combining phenocams, drones and high frequency gas flux and energy measurements by edi-covariance towers. The biological indicators of leaf flushing and senescence using near remote sense repeated digital images gains a spatial dimension to a larger areas by integrate the temporal monitoring by drones. The integrated effort of two interdisciplinary research groups from São Paulo and Pernambuco with expertise in phenology and carbon flux, will significantly advance our knowledge on temporal ecology of Caatinga end cerrado. The integration of methodologies that encompass spatial (drones) and temporal (phenocameras) variations of leaf phenology is fundamental to the comprehension of the temporal dynamics of ecosystem productivity and the hydroclimatic factors defining the leafing exchange strategies of native species in those biomes at local and regional scales. This partnership involves a committed and active team in both states, which is proposing to carry out synergistic and multidisciplinary activities contributing to the advancement of scientific knowledge on the climate and phenology relationships of the Cerrado and Caatinga Biomes. The information to be generated can contribute significantly to models of the relationships between climate and the phenology of the plants of these biomes and future scenarios of climatic changes and to the definition of environmental policies. The technologies developed by this team in the field of Biological Sciences will be a reference in the country on the phenology of native Caatinga and Cerrado species, and may be replicated to other Brazilian biomes, including the Amazon and agricultural crops of importance to the country. In addition, this proposal is in line with the international network of phenology, which will provide the projection of São Paulo and Pernambuco in the international scenario in this field (phenology). (AU)