Fire is one of the main factors that ensure the maintenance of open physiognomies at flammable ecosystems, controlling dominant species and acting in competition hierarchy in plant communities. Cerrado vegetation has been influenced by fire presence for at least four million years, and its flora, mainly the herbaceous-subshrub layer, is typically pyrophytic and well adapted to the frequent loss of aerial biomass; furthermore, these plants have attributes that increase their chances of survival after fire events, such as the allocation of biomass in belowground organs along with reserve accumulation, and resprout ability through aerial or underground buds. Identification of belowground organs at flammable ecosystems is important to understand the regeneration patterns of post-fire vegetations, once different morphological organs can have distinct strategies. Owing to the importance of Cerrado in Brazil, occupying around 22% of the national territory, and its fast degradation due to anthropogenic pressures, the understanding of adaptive strategies related to the survival and maintenance of the populations in this ecosystem is of utmost importance, since such studies may support management and conservation plans in protecting areas. Therefore, this project aims to assess the bud bank and the belowground organs diversity in plant communities from Cerrado areas, under different fire regimes, with the purpose of raising functional attributes and relating them to vegetation responses after fire events.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: