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New approaches to host specificity analysis in the communities of tropical herbivores

Grant number: 14/16006-0
Support type:Research Grants - Visiting Researcher Grant - International
Duration: October 23, 2014 - November 22, 2014
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology
Principal researcher:Thomas Michael Lewinsohn
Grantee:Thomas Michael Lewinsohn
Visiting researcher: Vojtech Novotny
Visiting researcher institution: Czech Academy of Sciences (CAS), Czech Republic
Home Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


Vojtech Novotny is Head of the Department of Ecology and Conservation Biology of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, and Professor of Ecology in the University of South Bohemia. He also directs the New Guinea Binatang Research Center in Papua New Guinea, where he leads a large team that investigates herbivorous insects and their interactions with host plants. In 20 years their research produced one of the most comprehensive and possibly the best documented database of insect-plant interactions in tropical forests, explored in many publications including 6 major papers in Science, Nature, and PNAS. Novotny is nowadays recognized as a leading authority on tropical insect communities. Our collaboration started 10 years ago, when we wrote a review of insect-plant interactions, published in the Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics in 2005. This paper has more than 100 citations and stimulated us to further collaboration, which can now come about with Novotny's first longer visit to Brazil, in which he will stay for a month in our lab. The central aim of this visit is to examine novel approaches for the analysis of trophic specialization in communities of tropical herbivorous insects, and to apply them to the sets of interaction records in the forests of Papua New Guinea. We will develop exploratory analyses employing new concepts and methods produced in our lab at Unicamp, building on previous theoretical work by ourselves and Novotny. We also intend to compare insect-plant communities that we studied in Brazil with their counterparts in Papua New Guinea. We will also consider possibilities for further collaborative work on the organization of ecological communities, joint data analyses and comparative field studies with a common design. (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)
JORGE, LEONARDO R.; NOVOTNY, VOJTECH; SEGAR, SIMON T.; WEIBLEN, GEORGE D.; MILLER, SCOTT E.; BASSET, YVES; LEWINSOHN, THOMAS M.. Phylogenetic trophic specialization: a robust comparison of herbivorous guilds. Oecologia, v. 185, n. 4, p. 551-559, . (14/16082-9, 14/16006-0)

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