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Integrating alpha and beta diversity models with phylogenetic and functional diversity to select priority areas to protect terrestrial arthropods in Brazilian restingas

Grant number: 12/13912-5
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2012
Effective date (End): June 30, 2014
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Theoretical Ecology
Principal Investigator:Thomas Michael Lewinsohn
Grantee:Thiago Gonçalves Souza
Home Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


The identification of protected areas with high conservation priority in order to halt biodiversity loss has been one of the greatest challenges to Conservation Biology. Hitherto, species richness and endemism, as well as political circumstances, have been the main criteria used to select areas to be preserved. However, this strategy does not ensure that a large part of functional diversity and evolutionary history of species will be conserved. If species evolutionary history and ecological interactions are not considered probably the rate of biodiversity loss will be higher. The aim of this project is to integrate information on several biodiversity components to identify areas for conservation priority and use the congruence/mismatch among different taxa as a deciding factor to preserve biodiversity. We will use data for 12 restingas of different conservation status, based on collections of arthropods with distinct biology and functional role (i.e., ants, beetles, caterpillars, cockroaches, and spiders) associated to plants from different families. We will calculate alpha, beta, functional, and phylogenetic diversities for each taxon in each restinga, and evaluate the robustness of interaction networks between arthropods and plants, to access the congruence/mismatch among diversity components. The general aim is to investigate whether present protected areas in the restinga hold a large part of biodiversity components, as represented by alpha, beta, functional, and phylogenetic diversities, and also whether interaction networks between arthropod and plants are more robust in restingas in protected areas.