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Testing the home-field advantage in litter decomposition in an elevation range of the coastal Atlantic Forest of southeast Brazil

Grant number: 15/09635-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Master's degree
Effective date (Start): October 24, 2015
Effective date (End): January 23, 2016
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Ecosystems Ecology
Principal Investigator:Luiz Antonio Martinelli
Grantee:Juliana Antonio
Supervisor: Cindy Prescott
Host Institution: Centro de Energia Nuclear na Agricultura (CENA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of British Columbia, Vancouver (UBC), Canada  
Associated to the scholarship:13/26215-3 - The effect of the transposition in the decomposition of leaves of different tree species between the rain forest lowland and montana in the Northern Coast of São Paulo, BP.MS


Rainforests are known for their high biological diversity and their fundamental role in biogeochemical cycles and global climate regulation. The Atlantic Rainforest is distributed along the Brazilian coast, occurring in hilly topography regions that enable the formation of altitudinal gradients. Despite its higher performance, The Atlantic Rainforest develops on poor soils that keep the development of vegetation through nutrient cycling processes, as the decomposition of plant material. The decomposition in rainforests is complex and may involve series of relationships between plant diversity and soil community. Interactions which plants influence the soil community and promote its decomposition has been called "home-field advantage" (HFA). Currently the occurrence of HFA in rainforests has been little studied, which prejudice the understanding of the decomposition process on high biological diversity environment. Thus, this project aims to execute a research internship at the University of British Columbia with Professor Cindy E. Prescott for further data analysis of the decomposition and litter quality which have been obtained experimentally in Brazil. The constant (k) of decomposition will be determined and correlations between the different treatments, areas and species will be made. It's expected, at the end of this internship, the attainment of a more grounded and consistent discussion on a very important and complex ecological process in rainforests.

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