Human modified tropical forests (HMTF) present several changes like habitat and biodiversity loss, fragmentation and climate changes, which directly affects hydrological cycle. Water availability is one of the most important factors in structure and functioning of an ecosystem. The Atlantic Forest is one of the world's hotspots of biodiversity, however, its land use and human ocupation led to a mosaic composed of exotic monocultures, secondary forests, primary forests and many small fragments. The functional groups along environmental gradients are key components in the establishment of forests at different levels of disturbance. However, a predictive approach, based on the functional traits related to leaf structure and drought tolerance, that enable plants to settle in different levels of disturbance, are still poorly understood. Thus, this work intend to establish a relationship betwen Pressure-Volume curve parameters (turgor loss point and its relative water content, bulk modulus of elasticity and osmotic potential at full hydration), important proxies of drought tolerance, and leaf structure traits (leaf mass per area, density and thickness), of the dominant species along a disturbance gradient of Atlantic Forest in the northeastern of São Paulo State. It will be used species that compounds 70% of the basal area of the permanent plots (K, T and fragments) of the FAPESP/NERC Thematic Project "ECOFOR: Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in areas altered by man in the Amazon Forest and Atlantic"(12/51872-5).
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: