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The effect of roads on the forest dynamics in Atlantic Forest fragments

Grant number: 17/17659-6
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2018
Effective date (End): June 30, 2019
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology
Principal Investigator:Simone Rodrigues de Freitas
Grantee:Artur Lupinetti Cunha
Home Institution: Centro de Ciências Naturais e Humanas (CCNH). Universidade Federal do ABC (UFABC). Ministério da Educação (Brasil). Santo André , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Habitat loss and fragmentation are problems that have been affecting Brazilian biomes over the decades. The anthropic action is the main agent of this process, in which we can highlight the expansion of the road network that stimulates changes in land use and increases the edge effect, which can affect the forest dynamics, a process highly influenced by the characteristics of the landscape around the forest fragments. Given this, the present project aims to understand the relationship between roads, forest dynamics and vegetation quality in Atlantic Forest fragments, so that the planning of road infrastructures and restoration projects consider their context on a landscape scale. Geoprocessing softwares will be used to intersect the road maps and the native vegetation cover variation of the biome, then it will be analyzed through linear models. To verify the effect of the presence of roads on the vegetation quality, EVI (Enhanced Vegetation Index) images will be used to calculate the vegetation index values of Atlantic Forest fragments over time. Simple models and more complex models will be created by adding covariates (using landscape and climate characteristics) one by one, and the Akaike Information Criterion will be used for the model selection. It is expected to find greater deforestation and less regeneration near roads, as well as a reduction tendency of the vegetation index on fragments closer to roads. (AU)