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Isotope ecology of neotropical ungulates in face of feral pig invasion

Grant number: 16/15436-7
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): January 15, 2017
Effective date (End): January 14, 2018
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Applied Ecology
Principal researcher:Mauro Galetti Rodrigues
Grantee:Felipe Pedrosa Chagas
Supervisor abroad: Taal Levi
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Rio Claro. Rio Claro , SP, Brazil
Research place: Oregon State University (OSU), United States  
Associated to the scholarship:15/18381-6 - Reversing defaunation or increasing ecological degradation? Invasion ecology of feral pigs Sus scrofa in a defaunated landscape, BP.DD

Abstract

Invasion ecology is one of the leading fields of community ecology, because of its inherent interest as a test case of how much we understand community interactions. The classical niche theory propose that species will occupy larger realised niches in the absence of interspecific competition and species can only have a small degree of resource overlap before the competitive exclusion happens. On the other hand, to avoid competitive exclusion, competing species must shift some dimension of their niche, amplifying their niche breadth, as a mechanism to coexist. It means that if two or more sympatric species share preferences in resource use, the subordinate species must include less-preferred resources in order to coexist. Consequently, niche breadths of subordinate species shall be wider in the presence of competitor, as an outcome of using less-preferred resources. In that sense, feral pig invasion in Brazilian ecosystems provides a good model to test this hypothesis, since the range of feral pigs in Brazilian ecosystems increased five times in the last 8 years and is overlapping with the remaining range of native peccaries. Therefore, the goal of this proposal is to test what is acknowledged by theory through the comparison of the isotopic niche breadth of feral pigs and the peccaries in South America. Stable isotope of carbon and nitrogen from animal tissues and their food sources is a powerful method to investigate trophic ecology and habitat use of wildlife. We have conducted stable isotopes analysis (C and N) of the hair tissue of the focal species and we will compare three distinct scenarios: a) areas where natives and invasive live in sympatry (Pantanal ecosystem), b) areas where natives inhabit without the invasive (Caetetus Ecological Station) and c) areas where invasive live without natives (landscapes of Rio Claro region). This proposal aims to produce 2 papers, one of which seeks to understand the mechanisms underlying competition and coexistence of neotropical ungulate species in face of feral pig invasion, and the other paper will address occupancy modelling applied to understand the patterns of co-occurrence between the feral pigs and other frugivore species and its consequences to fruit removal in invaded forest remnants. (AU)

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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)
PEDROSA, FELIPE; BERCE, WILLIAM; LEVI, TAAL; PIRES, MATHIAS; GALETTI, MAURO. Seed dispersal effectiveness by a large-bodied invasive species in defaunated landscapes. Biotropica, v. 51, n. 6 OCT 2019. Web of Science Citations: 0.
BRADHAM, JENNIFER; JORGE, MARIA LUISA S. P.; PEDROSA, FELIPE; KEUROGHLIAN, ALEXINE; COSTA, VLADIMIR ELIODORO; BERCE, WILLIAM; GALETTI, MAURO. Spatial isotopic dietary plasticity of a Neotropical forest ungulate: the white-lipped peccary (Tayassu pecari). JOURNAL OF MAMMALOGY, v. 100, n. 2, p. 464-474, APR 24 2019. Web of Science Citations: 0.

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