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Taxonomic and functional diversity of the stream fish fauna in newly deforested watersheds

Grant number: 16/01535-3
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: November 01, 2016 - April 30, 2019
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology
Principal Investigator:Lilian Casatti
Grantee:Lilian Casatti
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências, Letras e Ciências Exatas (IBILCE). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de São José do Rio Preto. São José do Rio Preto , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers: David Joseph Hoeinghaus ; Fabrício Barreto Teresa ; Fernando Rogério de Carvalho ; Francisco Langeani Neto ; Silvio Frosini de Barros Ferraz


The agropastoral expansion in the Amazon is the main cause of forest loss, with negative influences to the streams ecosystems. Some of the watersheds located in this region show deforestation over the last four decades whereas others were cleared over the last two decades. This project was designed with the focus on the importance of understanding the stream functioning in recently deforested watersheds and was driven by two main questions: (1) in newly deforested watersheds, is the existence of a forested riparian buffer able to mitigate the effects of land use in the watershed; that is, will be the features of the fish fauna in these catchments similar to the control watersheds? (2) the more recent deforestation, the greater will be the fish functional complementarity; that is, despite the high percentage of deforestation, extended to the riparian buffer, is it confirmed that some populations still persist? To explore these questions, the taxonomic and functional diversity of the stream fish assemblages will be analyzed in different combinations of watershed and riparian buffer coverage, as well as in watersheds recently deforested, in order to compare them with older deforestation scenarios. Overall, 45 stream reaches (15 without deforestation; 15 with deforestation in the matrix, but with forested riparian buffer; 15 with deforestation including the riparian buffer) will be sampled in northern Mato Grosso state to obtain the databases of fish species, environmental variables and functional attributes. We believe that this proposal will highlight the need to maintain the functional diversity for ecosystem processes in streams of regions that are heavily used for grazing and agriculture. (AU)