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Influence of local and landscape factors on the community of floral visiting bees in fragmented Atlantic Forest

Grant number: 16/08327-7
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): January 07, 2017
Effective date (End): February 06, 2017
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology
Principal Investigator:Danilo Boscolo
Grantee:Juliana Toshie Takata
Supervisor abroad: Adrian Christopher Newton
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto (FFCLRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : Bournemouth University (BU), England  
Associated to the scholarship:15/04973-9 - Influence of local and landscape factors on flower visiting bees within Atlantic Forest patches, BP.IC

Abstract

Bee pollination is an important ecological process for the functioning of ecosystems, being responsible for the maintenance of plant species in natural and anthropic environments. However, bees are very sensitive to habitat loss and fragmentation, which decrease their species richness and flower visitation frequencies. Also, the structural diversity and abundance of plant species may alter bee visitation rates and visiting behavior. The aim of this study is to understand how surrounding landscape structure (i.e. the amount of forest and degree of isolation) and local characteristics of forest patches influence floral visiting bees' diversity. In landscapes with more forest, we expect higher pollinator richness, but in forest patches with lower internal favorable conditions, we expect lower abundance of pollinators. We sampled flower-visiting bees within 27 Atlantic Rainforest patches in São Paulo - Brazil. Bees were collected actively at all flowering plants. We measured undergrowth density, dead trunk quantity (nesting resource), tree height, canopy opening and plant richness (food resource). The aim of the present proposal is to allow the student undertaking this research to conduct forest structure analysis with a highly experienced team of forest ecologists in the UK, and model forest quality in a spatially explicit way. These activities are part of a research cooperation between the two supervisors entitled "Ecosystem resilience in the fragmented Atlantic Forest of Brazil", funded by FAPESP (nº 2014/50971-5), which aims to identify spatially explicit sustainable approaches to land use that will strengthen the resilience of forest ecosystems to environmental change. In the end, the student will be able to share her acquired experience with the Brazilian team.