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Soil fertilization and dispersion of mycorrhizal fungi by mammals in the Atlantic Forest

Grant number: 18/00212-1
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2018
Effective date (End): October 24, 2019
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology
Principal Investigator:Mauro Galetti Rodrigues
Grantee:Leticia Bulascoschi Cagnoni
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Rio Claro. Rio Claro , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:14/01986-0 - Ecological consequences of defaunation in the Atlantic Rainforest, AP.TEM
Associated scholarship(s):18/19700-6 - Effects of defaunation on the functional traits of plants in the Atlantic Forest, BE.EP.IC

Abstract

Tropical forests are threatened by defaunation, habitat loss, fragmentation, and invasion of exotic species. The loss of species and reduction of the size of populations can adversely affect the maintenance of forest functionality. Large herbivores are known to have great influence on seed dispersal, soil fertilization and a possible dispersion capacity of mycorrhizal fungi responsible for the facilitation of germination and physiological aspects of seedlings. In the Neotropical region there are no studies that empirically test the effect of the extinction of large herbivores on soil fertilization and fungal spore dispersion. The present project proposes to experimentally evaluate these processes of soil fertilization by peccaries (Tayassu pecari) and tapirs (Tapirus terrestris), as well as their role as fungal dispersers. (AU)