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Evaluation of the experimental exclusion of insectivores vertebrates on the decomposition of three species of plants under diferents land uses in the State Park Serra do Mar, nucleus Santa Virginia

Grant number: 14/01245-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2014
Effective date (End): June 30, 2016
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology
Cooperation agreement: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal Investigator:Luiz Antonio Martinelli
Grantee:Gabriela Garcia Medeiros
Home Institution: Centro de Energia Nuclear na Agricultura (CENA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):15/09092-0 - Evaluation of the experimental exclusion of vertebrates on the decomposition of three species of plants under different land uses in Atlantic Forest, BE.EP.MS

Abstract

The diversity of the Atlantic Forest is threatened constantly due to habitat loss caused by the destruction and alteration of natural environments. Many studies have shown that specialists mammals and birds (eg. insectivores) are very sensitive to fragmentation of the environment, tend to disappear in open areas, and in the loss or deletion experiment, of these animals, causing the increase of the density of arthropods and rates of herbivory and causing a top-down effect that will even influences the cycling of nutrients. This project aims to investigate how the decomposition rates are modified by experimental exclusion of insectivorous vertebrates in an area with different soil covers in the tropical rainforest. Exclusion vertebrates plots and control plots will be allocated in areas with different soil covers to evaluate how the top-down effect and its possible changes in nutrient cycling occurs.Thus, it is intended to generate knowledge about the reflections caused by forest fragmentation on ecosystem functions such as decomposition, and provide information that may assist in conservation practices and management. (AU)