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Variations in the content and composition of soluble carbohydrates and phenolic compounds in tree species of the Semi-deciduous forest in response to air pollutants

Grant number: 14/03098-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2014
Effective date (End): April 30, 2016
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology
Principal Investigator:Marisa Domingos
Grantee:Marcela Regina Gonçalves da Silva Engela
Host Institution: Instituto de Botânica. Secretaria do Meio Ambiente (São Paulo - Estado). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


In recent decades, large amounts of pollutants have been emitted into the atmosphere in the Campinas metropolitan region (CMR), by anthropogenic activities concerning diverse land uses. Nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, particulate material containing elements and toxic compounds and ozone are among the main air pollutants found in the CMR. Once absorbed by plants, such pollutants induce the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), with high oxidative power, which may damage cell structures and cause physiological and biochemical disorders. On a large scale, such disturbances may affect the productivity and forest structure and plant community, as it is possibly occurring in semideciduous forest remnants at the CMR, one of the vegetation formations covered by the Atlantic forest domain in São Paulo. On the other hand, certain phenolic compounds and some carbohydrates may scavenge the ERO. Thus, the characterization of qualitative and quantitative changes in these substances can contribute to determining the potential of plant tolerance against oxidative stress. Thus, the present study was proposed to assess whether qualitative and quantitative changes in soluble carbohydrates and phenolic compounds of native tree species of Semi-deciduous Forest occur in response to variations in the concentrations of air and to natural fluctuations in climatic factors pollutants in the CMR, aiming to contribute to the establishment of the their tolerance level to environmental stresses in the region of study. So, leaf samples of three tree species will be collected at the edge of forest fragments located in different directions and distances of the industrial pole of Paulínia, which is inserted in the CMR. The leaf samplings for analysis of carbohydrates and phenolic compounds will be held on consecutive days, at different times, in the rainy and dry seasons. In addition, complementary experiments will be performed in order to determine the daily progress in the content and composition of soluble carbohydrates and in gas exchange, in order to verify the extent to which changes in carbohydrates would be associated with photosynthesis. In addition, the levels of air pollutants and climatic conditions will be measured during the sampling periods. Multivariate statistical analysis will permit to infer about the associations between variations in the plant responses and environmental conditions.

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