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Linking defaunation to carbon storage ecosystem services in Atlantic rainforests

Grant number: 13/22492-2
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2014
Effective date (End): July 31, 2018
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Applied Ecology
Principal researcher:Mauro Galetti Rodrigues
Grantee:Laura Carolina Bello Lozano
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Rio Claro. Rio Claro , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):15/23770-1 - To infer frugivory interactions from plant and animal traits, BE.EP.DD


Rainforests are one of the major sources of carbon sink that regulates climate locally and globally, there is more carbon in the world's forests than in its atmosphere (Karsenty et al., 2003; Rogner, et al., 2007, Bond et al., 2009). Between 1990 and 2005, over a million square kilometers of forest were lost in the tropics. Several alternatives to stop or reduce deforestation has been proposed, one of the most important is the 'Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation' (REDD).REDD programs have been establish widely, but they focus on deforestation measurements and policies and very few of these studies address to control forest degradation (Bond et al., 2009). Hence is vital to develop methodologies and policies to evaluate how the degradation of forests affects the carbon stock and guarantee processes and services derivate from rain forests. Forest degradation is related with hunting and harvesting. Harvest of the large vertebrates' assemblages can lead to a post-depletion equilibrium conditions in which the vulnerable ing robust taxa that are resilient to pressure (Peres 2010). Many tropical forest plants with large seeds dependent on large vertebrate dispersers and are affected in overhunted areas (Stoner et al., 2007). These changes have profound impact in the trophic cascade affecting other species through the balance of interactions between seed dispersers and seed predators herbivores (Wright 2003, Galetti and Dirzo 2013) and other related process. Sites with over hunting tend to change their compositions favoring some species that perform different functions altering the functionality and therefore the ecological services provided by the ecosystem. The functional diversity is defined as the value, range, distribution and relative abundance of functional traits of the organisms that make up an ecosystem (Díaz et al. 2007). Measure it is a very good proxy to understand the changes in functionality, due to changes in diversity not always mean changes in functionality (Díaz and Cabido 2001). Many species may have the same functional traits so species deletion affects functionality in a nonlinear way (Salas 1996). However the loss of an entire functional type could therefore have a larger impact on ecosystem functionality than just deleting the same number of species drawn from a variety of functional types (Díaz and Cabido 2001). Therefore, as we saw in over-hunted areas all the pressure remains in species that are functionally similar. Hunters' targets big mammals that have big impacts for dispersion, seedling and establishment of plant with big fruits and large biomass, inducing a disturbance filter which might biased the functional diversity present in the ecosystem species pool (Díaz et al 1998). Then our major hypothesis is that deletions of key mammals or bird species, occasioned by hunters or fragmentation, affect indirectly the functional trait of the plant species and therefore the ecosystem service of carbon stock. To test this idea we have three lines of research: 1. We will examine how functional dispersal traits of plants are related with aboveground carbon stock for woody species in the Atlantic forest. 2. We will examine how dispersal animals are related whit with aboveground carbon stock for woody species using a complex network dataset. (AU)

Scientific publications (6)
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
BELLO, CAROLINA; CINTRA, ANA LAURA P.; BARRETO, ELISA; VANCINE, MAURICIO HUMBERTO; SOBRAL-SOUZA, THADEU; GRAHAM, CATHERINE H.; GALETTI, MAURO. Environmental niche and functional role similarity between invasive and native palms in the Atlantic Forest. Biological Invasions, v. 23, n. 3 NOV 2020. Web of Science Citations: 0.
BRANCALION, PEDRO H. S.; BELLO, CAROLINA; CHAZDON, ROBIN L.; GALETTI, MAURO; JORDANO, PEDRO; LIMA, RENATO A. F.; MEDINA, ARETHA; PIZO, MARCO AURELIO; LEIGHTON REID, J. Maximizing biodiversity conservation and carbon stocking in restored tropical forests. CONSERVATION LETTERS, v. 11, n. 4 JUL-AUG 2018. Web of Science Citations: 13.
SOBRAL-SOUZA, THADEU; LAUTENSCHLAGER, LAIS; MORCATTY, THAIS QUEIROZ; BELLO, CAROLINA; HANSEN, DENNIS; GALETTI, MAURO. Rewilding defaunated Atlantic Forests with tortoises to restore lost seed dispersal functions. PERSPECTIVES IN ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION, v. 15, n. 4, p. 300-307, OCT-DEC 2017. Web of Science Citations: 9.
CULOT, LAURENCE; BELLO, CAROLINA; FERREIRA BATISTA, JOAO LUIS; ZARATE DO COUTO, HILTON THADEU; GALETTI, MAURO. Synergistic effects of seed disperser and predator loss on recruitment success and long-term consequences for carbon stocks in tropical rainforests. SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, v. 7, AUG 9 2017. Web of Science Citations: 18.
BELLO, CAROLINA; GALETTI, MAURO; PIZO, MARCO A.; MAGNAGO, LUIZ FERNANDO S.; ROCHA, MARIANA F.; LIMA, RENATO A. F.; PERES, CARLOS A.; OVASKAINEN, OTSO; JORDANO, PEDRO. Defaunation affects carbon storage in tropical forests. SCIENCE ADVANCES, v. 1, n. 11 DEC 2015. Web of Science Citations: 100.
DE LIMA, RENATO A. F.; MORI, DANILO P.; PITTA, GREGORY; MELITO, MELINA O.; BELLO, CAROLINA; MAGNAGO, LUIZ F.; ZWIENER, VICTOR P.; SARAIVA, DANIEL D.; MARQUES, MARCIA C. M.; DE OLIVEIRA, ALEXANDRE A.; PRADO, PAULO I. How much do we know about the endangered Atlantic Forest? Reviewing nearly 70 years of information on tree community surveys. Biodiversity and Conservation, v. 24, n. 9, SI, p. 2135-2148, SEP 2015. Web of Science Citations: 34.

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