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History of Caatinga: comparative phylogeography of amphibians facing a xeric biome

Grant number: 11/51392-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2012
Effective date (End): October 31, 2016
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology
Principal Investigator:Célio Fernando Baptista Haddad
Grantee:Maria Tereza Chiarioni Thomé
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Rio Claro. Rio Claro , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:13/50741-7 - Diversity and conservation of Brazilian amphibians, AP.BTA.TEM
Associated scholarship(s):13/09088-8 - The history of the Caatinga: exploring phylogeographic patterns and evolutionary processes in three amphibians with next-generation sequencing data, BE.EP.PD   12/06611-9 - The history of the Caatinga: mapping genetic patterns and evolutionary processes in an endemic species using rapid evolution markers, BE.EP.PD


The Caatinga is a xeric biome that spans a wide region in northeastern Brazil, being perhaps the least studied biome in the South American continent. With an endemic biota adapted to an arid and highly seasonal climate, the Caatinga shows several vegetational forms that vary along with abiotic factors producing regional patterns of organismal distributions. The biogeographic history of the Caatinga is unknown butthe few data available on palaeoindicators supports complex Interactions with the surrounding biomes, that relate to past climate changes, including habitat instability areas and the formation of connections. The response of the biota to these changes is virtually unknown and genetic data collected in a phylogeographic framework will be needed to address diversification hypotheses in this biome. Amphibians are excellent biological models to undertake this enterprise due to a constant challenge to maintain water balance, which resulted in a variety of adaptations developed to endure a dry and unpredictable rainfall regime. In this project, we propose to investigate the history of this biome using three endemic amphibians as models in a comparative phylogeography approach. We selected species with distinct behavioral and physiological strategies to better explore the effects of distinct natural histories in shaping genetic diversity over time. We will integrate available information from past climates, endemism and abiotic factors to build historical scenarios that allow the testing of diversification hypotheses. This study will also evaluate current conservation strategies and produce the necessary database for future evolutionary research in this peculiar biome. (AU)

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)
THOME, MARIA TEREZA C.; CARSTENS, BRYAN C. Phylogeographic model selection leads to insight into the evolutionary history of four-eyed frogs. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, v. 113, n. 29, p. 8010-8017, JUL 19 2016. Web of Science Citations: 19.
THOME, MARIA TEREZA C.; SEQUEIRA, FERNANDO; BRUSQUETTI, FRANCISCO; CARSTENS, BRYAN; HADDAD, CELIO F. B.; RODRIGUES, MIGUEL TREFAUT; ALEXANDRINO, JOAO. Recurrent connections between Amazon and Atlantic forests shaped diversity in Caatinga four-eyed frogs. Journal of Biogeography, v. 43, n. 5, p. 1045-1056, MAY 2016. Web of Science Citations: 18.
BRUNES, TULIANA O.; THOME, MARIA TEREZA C.; ALEXANDRINO, JOAO; HADDAD, CELIO F. B.; SEQUEIRA, FERNANDO. Ancient divergence and recent population expansion in a leaf frog endemic to the southern Brazilian Atlantic forest. ORGANISMS DIVERSITY & EVOLUTION, v. 15, n. 4, p. 695-710, DEC 2015. Web of Science Citations: 9.

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