Anthropogenic activities such as subsistence hunting and deforestation have caused the reduction or even local extinction of dispersal agents in the Atlantic Forest. Large birds and medium and large sized-mammals such as primates and ungulates that are usually herbivores, seed dispersers or seed predators are most affected by these events.. The local extinction of wildlife creates so-called "empty forests", with an apparently intact vegetation, but with altered plant-animal interactions. Therefore, effects on the demographic and genetic structure of plants are expected, especially for species with large seeds that require large dispersers. In this project, we intend to evaluate the effects of defaunation on the spatial genetic structure of a tree species with large seeds, Cryptocarya mandioccana For this study, we will 1) validate 10 species-specific microsatellite loci, testing them in 40 individuals from two populations to optimize the amplification conditions and determine is the degree of polymorphism 2) compare spatial genetic structure of seedlings for this species between a defaunated area (Carlos Botelho State Park - Nuclei of Sete Barras) and a faunated area (Carlos Botelho State Park - Nuclei of São Miguel) through the use of these markers. The comparison of the spatial genetic structure between these two areas, will allow us to evaluate the genetic effect of defaunation on this population.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: