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Applying phylogenetic and Functional Ecology to understand community assembly and seedling performance in Atlantic Forest restoration plantations

Grant number: 12/18944-2
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2013
Effective date (End): December 04, 2016
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Applied Ecology
Principal Investigator:Pedro Henrique Santin Brancalion
Grantee:Daniella Maria Schweizer Hidalgo
Host Institution: Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):16/06981-1 - Modeling successional pathways of secondary Atlantic forests in the face of climate change using taxonomic, functional, phylogenetic and landscape information, BE.EP.PD


Species interact with their abiotic and biotic environment through the functional traits they possess, which are not independent of the evolutionary history of the species. Mapping the evolutionary relationships of and the trait conservatism among coexisting species in a restored forest can increase our understanding of community assembly processes and assess potential successional directions that can lead to modifications and improvements in the restoration methods currently used. This approach can be applied, for instance, in selecting the type and number of species to be planted that will best promote natural recruitment, and achieve functional diversity and self-sustainability. The proposed research will apply the frameworks of phylogenetic and functional ecology to understand community assembly patterns and processes in four Atlantic Forest restored sites. In addition, we will conduct enrichment planting experiments beneath the canopy of three 6 years old restoration plantings consisting of 20, 60, and 120 different species, and beneath the canopy of 5 species planted in monoculture stands 100 years ago, to assess the relationship between seedling performance and phylogenetic diversity of the overstory species. (AU)

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