Angiosperms have a great intra- and interespecific variation in seed size. It seems to influence ecological and evolutionary dynamic of species, once the seed size may be related to dispersal capacity and potential of seedling recruitment. Studies showed that fragmentation and defaunation process can lead to seed size reduction, however, few it is known about the adaptive and ecological consequences of this reduction. The aim of project is understand which are the ecological and genetics effects of seed size variation of a key palm in Atlantic forest, heart of palm Euterpe edulis. Specifically, we will investigate, using meta-analysis approach based on data set compiled from, if population connectivity of different species of angiosperms can be explained by seed size and seed dispersal syndrome in tropical ecosystems; if the loss of large frugivorous affects seed size variation and, concomitantly, we will verify if there are a relation among the reduction of seed size variation, genetic diversity and germination potential; we will evaluate the role of seed size phenotypic and genetic variation on seed dispersal and seedling recruitment limitation; and we will verify the potential for restoration of phenotypic variability. To achieve our goals, we will use distinct way of obtaining and analyzing data, as compiling data from literature, in situ experiment, greenhouse experiment and genetic analysis. The results will be used to test hyphothesis about the genetics and ecological consequences of reduction in seed size variation due to anthropic process.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: