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Effect of proximity to roads on frugivory in forest fragments, using artificial fruit

Grant number: 12/18692-3
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2013
Effective date (End): December 31, 2013
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology
Principal researcher:Milton Cezar Ribeiro
Grantee:Maria Luisa Branco Soares
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Rio Claro. Rio Claro , SP, Brazil


The major roads impacts in the landscape level are the interruption of existing processes it and loss of biodiversity, thus altering the functioning of the landscape. Studies associating roads and their impacts on ecosystems and biodiversity focus on potential effects such as road - the killing of animals, avoidance by wildlife, the spread of invasive species, habitat fragmentation, and impacts on the physical environment. However, few studies on road ecology in neotropical regions focus on ecological processes, most of them facing a number of species and abundance data. Therefore, this study aims to analyze the effect of proximity to roads on frugivory, a key ecological process for maintaining biodiversity. This process was chosen because it is strongly associated with two other important ecological processes, predation and seed dispersal. We will check the frugivory rate and diversity of pecking of artificial fruit of clay arranged in 15 fragments located at different distances from roads located in the region spanning the River Basin Corumbataí. In each fragment will be chosen 20 young trees or shrubs, and each of them will be placed 15 artificial fruit. After one week of exposure of each set of fruit will be measured, these being classified as consumed, removed or intact. The response variables are the rate and diversity of frugivory pecking. In order to evaluate the effect of roads on frugivory will use the approach of multiple competing hypotheses. The models to be tested were selected for their ecological basis, and they combine one or more factors or characteristics of the landscape fragments.(AU)

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