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SEED TRAITS IN FIRE-PRONE ECOSSYSTEMS

Grant number: 18/08017-3
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Master's degree
Effective date (Start): July 25, 2018
Effective date (End): October 30, 2018
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Botany
Principal Investigator:Alessandra Tomaselli Fidelis
Grantee:Heloiza Lourenço Zirondi
Supervisor abroad: Mark Ooi
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Rio Claro. Rio Claro , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australia  
Associated to the scholarship:17/16149-4 - THE EFFECT OF FIRE ON PHENOLOGY, SEED AND GERMINATION TRAITS OF CERRADO SPECIES, BP.MS

Abstract

Fire is considered a disturbance capable of altering the environment and vital organism processes. In addition, it can act as an evolutionary pressure on plant traits, including seed traits such as seed size (mass), seed shape and permeability. Thus, in this study we aim to access whether seed traits will vary according to fire history and/or regime. We will measure seed shape, size(mass) and permeability of Australian species from fire-prone ecosystems with physical dormancy (PY) from areas with different fire histories. We hypothesized that (i) seed traits will vary among these areas and (ii) there will be a greater percentage of impermeable seeds in species from frequently burned areas when compared to the ones that where fire is not frequent. Our results will bring insights about the understanding of vegetation responses to the different fire histories and how this would affect PY species. Finally, the results of this project will contribute to a better knowledge of how fire can modulate seed traits.