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Reversing defaunation or increasing ecological degradation? Invasion ecology of feral pigs Sus scrofa in a defaunated landscape

Grant number: 15/18381-6
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2015
Effective date (End): January 31, 2019
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology
Principal Investigator:Mauro Galetti Rodrigues
Grantee:Felipe Pedrosa Chagas
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Rio Claro. Rio Claro , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:14/01986-0 - Ecological consequences of defaunation in the Atlantic Rainforest, AP.TEM
Associated scholarship(s):16/15436-7 - Isotope ecology of neotropical ungulates in face of feral pig invasion, BE.EP.DD


Invasion of alien species is a concern to human well-being and a threat to biodiversity. Many thriving biological invasions causes economic damages and drives disruptions of ecosystem functioning. Along with that, defaunation process also endanger entire communities, disrupting species interactions, particularly on plant-animal interactions. In neotropical forests, tapir and peccaries play important role, regulating ecosystem functions such as herbivory, trampling of seedlings and saplings, predation and dispersal of seeds. However, they are threatened or locally extinct, jeopardizing the structure and the regeneration of plant communities. On the other hand, an alien species, the feral pig Sus scrofa is quickly occupying these defaunated landscapes. Nevertheless, the consequences of feral pigs to seed dispersal, seed predation, herbivory and trampling in the Atlantic Forest ecosystems are unknown. The aim of this Ph.D. proposal is to examine how feral pigs affect such ecological functions and process, as well estimate the differences between foraging ecology of tapir (Tapirus terrestris), peccaries (Tayassu pecari and Pecari tajacu) and the invasive, to provide tangible estimation of its impacts and of its role on ecosystems. (AU)

Articles published in Agência FAPESP about the scholarship:
Researchers highlight alarming link between feral pigs and vampire bats 

Scientific publications
(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)
DA ROSA, CLARISSA ALVES; WALLAU, MARCELO OSORIO; PEDROSA, FELIPE. Hunting as the Main Technique Used to Control Wild Pigs in Brazil. WILDLIFE SOCIETY BULLETIN, v. 42, n. 1, p. 111-118, MAR 2018. Web of Science Citations: 0.
BECA, GABRIELLE; VANCINE, MAURICIO H.; CARVALHO, CAROLINA S.; PEDROSA, FELIPE; ALVES, RAFAEL SOUZA C.; BUSCARIOL, DAIANE; PERES, CARLOS A.; RIBEIRO, MILTON CEZAR; GALETTI, MAURO. High mammal species turnover in forest patches immersed in biofuel plantations. Biological Conservation, v. 210, n. A, p. 352-359, JUN 2017. Web of Science Citations: 14.

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