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Land-use modification and the possible impact on the functional connectivity and population structure of capybara, an important zoonotic disease host

Grant number: 14/12681-5
Support Opportunities:Research Grants - Visiting Researcher Grant - International
Duration: August 28, 2014 - September 06, 2014
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Animal Genetics
Principal Investigator:Pedro Manoel Galetti Junior
Grantee:Pedro Manoel Galetti Junior
Visiting researcher: Warren E. Johnson
Visiting researcher institution: Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI), United States
Host Institution: Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde (CCBS). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


It has been pointed that land-use modification (e.g. habitat fragmentation) is one of the main causes of population connectivity loss (gene flow), species home ranges reduction, and therefore biodiversity loss. However, contrary to what was mentioned previously, different species take advantage of this land-usemodification, expanding its home ranges and population sizes. These species populations' expansions can lead to economic problems associated with crops damaged (because generalist habits of these species), but also it has been associated with the emergence and expansion of harmful diseases to human health. Different approaches are used to identify possible pandemic sources, however because the spread of diseases is inherently a spatial process often embedded in complex landscapes it has beenproposed the used of geographic information systems as an important tool to evaluate the possible routes of disease dispersion. In addition to the previous, the use of genetic tools in a landscape genetics perspective can elucidate the mechanisms that underlies the basic ecological processes that drives infectious disease dynamics and to understand the linkage between spatially dependent population processes and the geographic distribution of genetic variation within both: hosts and parasites. Thus, thegenetic information of hosts and parasites coupled to their ecological interactions can lead to insights for predicting patterns of disease emergence, spread and control. Here we aim to i) assess the spatial organization of genetic variation in capybara as the main host of the cayenne tick and therefore the vector of the Brazilian spotted fever (BSF) and, ii) use capybara population genetic structure as a proxy to parameterize ecological dynamics that indirectly influence parasite populations (gene flow and movement pathways across heterogeneous landscapes and the concurrent transport of the cayenne tick). Finally we aim to identify possible future directions in the management of capybara populations and its relationship with the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, with the aim to prevent the BSF dissemination. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
TORRES-FLOREZ, JUAN PABLO; JOHNSON, WARREN E.; NERY, MARIANA F.; EIZIRIK, EDUARDO; OLIVEIRA-MIRANDA, MARIA A.; GALETTI, JR., PEDRO MANOEL. The coming of age of conservation genetics in Latin America: what has been achieved and what needs to be done. CONSERVATION GENETICS, v. 19, n. 1, p. 1-15, . (13/23198-0, 14/12681-5)

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