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Anurans of the Atlantic Forest: incorporating ecophysiological information to evaluate contemporary patterns of habitat occupancy and forecast for a warmer future

Grant number: 18/05839-2
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2019
Effective date (End): December 31, 2019
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology
Principal Investigator:Denis Otavio Vieira de Andrade
Grantee:Denis Otavio Vieira de Andrade
Host: Barry Raymond Sinervo
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Rio Claro. Rio Claro , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : University of California, Santa Cruz (UC Santa Cruz), United States  

Abstract

The proposed project intend to assess quantitative metrics based on physiological parameters that will be incorporated into mechanistic modelling approaches to evaluate contemporary patterns of habitat occupancy in anuran amphibians of the Atlantic Forest, Brazil. Thereafter, we will use the information derived from this model to assess the vulnerability of these organisms to scenarios of future changes in climate and forecast extirpation/extinction risks. In both cases, we will propose and test mechanistic metrics derived from parameters associated with thermal and hydric relations of selected species of anurans. This is justified by the fact that, due to their ectothermy and highly permeable skin, body temperature regulation and water balance in amphibians are importantly impacted by environmental contingencies that are highly influential to their survival. Physiological information will be compiled from literature sources and from a dataset already available by the proponent. Similarly, the mapping of the distribution of temperature and hydric conditions at microscale level will rely on information available from literature sources and from a previously collected dataset. In addition, microclimate profiles will be combined with macroscale climatic surfaces databases. The main product to be expected is a robust assessment of habitat occupancy, persistence, and risk of extirpation and/or extinction, contemporary and future, firmly grounded on relevant physiological information. As a follow-up consequence and long lasting result, it is expected that a research line focused on mechanistic modelling approaches, strongly rooted in physiological parameters, be incorporated among the research competences of the proponent. In such case, there is a positive prospect of summoning the research interests from well-established groups in Brazil focused either on organismal physiology or ecological modelling, but currently with little interaction between areas. This may break ground to the exploration of new studies cases under the modern and robust approach of mechanistic modelling. In the same framework, the addition of layers of complexity - such as to account for the effects of deforestation, phenotypic plasticity, evolutionary adaptation, migration, etc - is expected to provide new exciting research opportunities under the competence to be acquired.