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Exploring the risk of savanna expansion in Tropical South America under climate change

Grant number: 16/25086-3
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2017
Effective date (End): February 29, 2020
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology
Cooperation agreement: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal Investigator:Rafael Silva Oliveira
Grantee:Bernardo Monteiro Flores
Home Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Tropical South American landscapes are covered by massive forests and savannas as dominant biomes. Forests are usually found in the wetter regions and savannas in the drier, yet both biomes can co-exist where rainfall conditions are moderate. In the coming decades, climate is projected to become drier in the tropical part of the continent, implying that savannas may expand their range over forested areas. This study will address the risk of savanna expansion, as well as the mechanisms and the regions where such transitions are most likely to happen. It will contribute to a larger thematic research project financed by the program MICROSOFT-FAPESP, entitled "Towards an understanding of tipping points within Tropical South American biomes", which follows a multi-scale framework and is inspired by the theory of dynamical complex systems with alternative attractors. In collaboration with researchers that have a well known expertise in the topic we will add two objectives to the large thematic project. First we ask the question: which mechanisms may drive savanna expansion? We will combine information from remote sensing and field assessments to understand whether savanna expansion can be driven by (a) plant-soil-fire interactions at the local scale, and (b) the relative capacities of forest and savanna trees to disperse at the regional scale. Both approaches will be developed in two regions with contrasting climatic conditions. Second, we will assess how forest resilience varies spatially using two methods: (a) comparing forest recovery after disturbances along a gradient of climatic conditions, and (b) testing if the current distribution of forest and savanna tree species can be explained by the mechanisms identified in the first objective. For this we will use data on tree species abundance from > 1500 field plots across tropical South America. We will also investigate the hypothesis that forests with more species typical of savannas in the tree community may have been savannas in a recent past, implying that if climate becomes drier, these forests may be the first to collapse. Our combination of approaches should reveal how and where savannas are more likely to expand as climatic conditions change, allowing South American societies to manage such risk and its consequences. (AU)

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)
TER STEEGE, HANS; HENKEL, TERRY W.; HELAL, NORA; MARIMON, BEATRIZ S.; MARIMON-JUNIOR, BEN HUR; HUTH, ANDREAS; GROENEVELD, JURGEN; SABATIER, DANIEL; COELHO, LUIZ DE SOUZA; LIMA FILHO, DIOGENES DE ANDRADE; SALOMAO, RAFAEL P.; AMARAL, IEDA LEAO; DE ALMEIDA MATOS, FRANCISCA DIONIZIA; CASTILHO, CAROLINA V.; PHILLIPS, OLIVER L.; GUEVARA, JUAN ERNESTO; VEIGA CARIM, MARCELO DE JESUS; LOPEZ, DAIRON CARDENAS; MAGNUSSON, WILLIAM E.; WITTMANN, FLORIAN; IRUME, MARIANA VICTORIA; MARTINS, MARIA P. IRES; DA SILVA GUIMARAES, JOSE RENAN; MOLINO, JEAN-FRANCOIS; BANKI, OLAF S.; FERNANDEZ PIEDADE, MARIA TERESA; PITMAN, NIGEL C. A.; MENDOZA, ABEL MONTEAGUDO; RAMOS, JOSE FERREIRA; LUIZE, BRUNO GARCIA; MORAES DE LEAO NOVO, EVLYN MARCIA; VARGAS, PERCY NUNEZ; FREIRE SILVA, THIAGO SANNA; VENTICINQUE, EDUARDO MARTINS; MANZATTO, ANGELO GILBERTO; COSTA REIS, NEIDIANE FARIAS; TERBORGH, JOHN; CASULA, KATIA REGINA; HONORIO CORONADO, EURIDICE N.; MONTERO, JUAN CARLOS; FELDPAUSCH, TED R.; DUQUE, ALVARO; COSTA, FLAVIA R. C.; ARBOLEDA, NICOLAS CASTANO; SCHONGART, JOCHEN; KILLEEN, TIMOTHY J.; VASQUEZ, RODOLFO; MOSTACEDO, BONIFACIO; DEMARCHI, LAYON O.; ASSIS, RAFAEL L.; BARALOTO, CHRIS; ENGEL, JULIEN; PETRONELLI, PASCAL; CASTELLANOS, HERNAN; DE MEDEIROS, MARCELO BRILHANTE; QUARESMA, ADRIANO; SIMON, MARCELO F. RAGOMENI; ANDRADE, ANA; CAMARGO, JOSE LUIS; LAURANCE, SUSAN G. W.; LAURANCE, WILLIAM F.; RINCON, LORENA M.; SCHIETTI, JULIANA; SOUSA, THAIANE R.; FARIAS, EMANUELLE DE SOUSA; LOPES, MARIA APARECIDA; LIMA MAGALHAES, JOSE LEONARDO; MENDONCA NASCIMENTO, HENRIQUE EDUARDO; DE QUEIROZ, HELDER LIMA; AYMARD, GERARDO A.; BRIENEN, ROEL; CARDENAS REVILLA, JUAN DAVID; GUIMARAES VIEIRA, IMA CELIA; LADVOCAT CINTRA, BRUNO BARCANTE; STEVENSON, PABLO R.; FEITOSA, YURI OLIVEIRA; DUIVENVOORDEN, JOOST F.; MOGOLLON, HUGO F.; ARAUJO-MURAKAMI, ALEJANDRO; FERREIRA, LEANDRO VALLE; LOZADA, JOSE RAFAEL; COMISKEY, JAMES A.; DE TOLEDO, JOSE JULIO; DAMASCO, GABRIEL; DAVILA, NALLARETT; DRAPER, FREDDIE; GARCIA-VILLACORTA, ROOSEVELT; LOPES, ALINE; VICENTINI, ALBERTO; ALONSO, ALFONSO; DALLMEIER, FRANCISCO; GOMES, VITOR H. F.; LLOYD, JON; NEILL, DAVID; PORTELA DE AGUIAR, DANIEL PRAIA; ARROYO, LUZMILA; CARVALHO, FERNANDA ANTUNES; DE SOUZA, FERNANDA COELHO; DO AMARAL, DARIO DANTAS; FEELEY, KENNETH J.; GRIBEL, ROGERIO; PANSONATO, MARCELO PETRATTI; BARLOW, JOS; BERENGUER, ERIKA; FERREIRA, JOICE; FINE, PAUL V. A.; GUEDES, MARCELINO CARNEIRO; JIMENEZ, ELIANA M.; LICONA, JUAN CARLOS; PENUELA MORA, MARIA CRISTINA; VILLA, BORIS; CERON, CARLOS; MAAS, PAUL; SILVEIRA, MARCOS; STROPP, JULIANA; THOMAS, RAQUEL; BAKER, TIM R.; DALY, DOUG; DEXTER, KYLE G.; HUAMANTUPA-CHUQUIMACO, ISAU; MILLIKEN, WILLIAM; PENNINGTON, TOBY; PAREDES, MARCOS RIOS; FUENTES, ALFREDO; KLITGAARD, BENTE; MARCELO PENA, JOSE LUIS; PERES, CARLOS A.; SILMAN, MILES R.; TELLO, J. SEBASTIAN; CHAVE, JEROME; VALVERDE, FERNANDO CORNEJO; DI FIORE, ANTHONY; HILARIO, RENATO RICHARD; PHILLIPS, JUAN FERNANDO; RIVAS-TORRES, GONZALO; VAN ANDEL, TINDE R.; VON HILDEBRAND, PATRICIO; NORONHA, JANAINA COSTA; BARBOSA, EDELCILIO MARQUES; BARBOSA, FLAVIA RODRIGUES; DE MATOS BONATES, LUIZ CARLOS; CARPANEDO, RAINIELLEN DE SA; DOZA, HILDA PAULETTE DAVILA; FONTY, EMILE; GOMEZARATE, RICARDO; GONZALES, THERANY; GALLARDO GONZALES, GEORGE PEPE; HOFFMAN, BRUCE; JUNQUEIRA, ANDRE BRAGA; MALHI, YADVINDER; DE ANDRADE MIRANDA, IRES PAULA; MOZOMBITE PINTO, LINDER FELIPE; PRIETO, ADRIANA; RODRIGUES, DOMINGOS DE JESUS; RUDAS, AGUSTIN; RUSCHEL, ADEMIR R.; SILVA, NATALINO; VELA, CESAR I. A.; VOS, VINCENT ANTOINE; ZENT, EGLEE L.; ZENT, STANFORD; ALBUQUERQUE, BIANCA WEISS; CANO, ANGELA; CARRERO MARQUEZ, YRMA ANDREINA; CORREA, DIEGO F.; PEDROSA COSTA, JANAINA BARBOSA; FLORES, BERNARDO MONTEIRO; GALBRAITH, DAVID; HOLMGREN, MILENA; KALAMANDEEN, MICHELLE; NASCIMENTO, MARCELO T. RINDADE; OLIVEIRA, ALEXANDRE A.; RAMIREZ-ANGULO, HIRMA; ROCHA, MAIRA; SCUDELLER, VERIDIANA VIZONI; SIERRA, RODRIGO; TIRADO, MILTON; UMANA MEDINA, MARIA NATALIA; VAN DER HEIJDEN, GEERTJE; TORRE, EMILIO VILANOVA; VRIESENDORP, CORINE; WANG, OPHELIA; YOUNG, KENNETH R.; AHUITE REATEGUI, MANUEL AUGUSTO; BAIDER, CLAUDIA; BALSLEV, HENRIK; CARDENAS, SASHA; CASAS, LUISA FERNANDA; FARFAN-RIOS, WILLIAM; FERREIRA, CID; LINARES-PALOMINO, REYNALDO; MENDOZA, CASIMIRO; MESONES, ITALO; TORRES-LEZAMA, ARMANDO; URREGO GIRALDO, LIGIA ESTELA; VILLARROEL, DANIEL; ZAGT, RODERICK; ALEXIADES, MIGUEL N.; DE OLIVEIRA, EDMAR ALMEIDA; GARCIA-CABRERA, KARINA; HERNANDEZ, LIONEL; CUENCA, WALTER PALACIOS; PANSINI, SUSAMAR; PAULETTO, DANIELA; AREVALO, FREDDY RAMIREZ; SAMPAIO, ADEILZA FELIPE; VALDERRAMA SANDOVAL, ELVIS H.; GAMARRA, LUIS VALENZUELA; LEVESLEY, AURORA; PICKAVANCE, GEORGIA; MELGACO, KARINA. Rarity of monodominance in hyperdiverse Amazonian forests. SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, v. 9, SEP 25 2019. Web of Science Citations: 0.
CAETANO ANDRADE, VICTOR L.; FLORES, BERNARDO M.; LEVIS, CAROLINA; CLEMENT, CHARLES R.; ROBERTS, PATRICK; SCHONGART, JOCHEN. Growth rings of Brazil nut trees (Bertholletia excelsa) as a living record of historical human disturbance in Central Amazonia. PLoS One, v. 14, n. 4 APR 3 2019. Web of Science Citations: 0.

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