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Ecological functions of secondary forests and its role on stream conservation in agricultural landscapes of the Brazilian Amazon

Grant number: 18/12341-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2018
Effective date (End): September 30, 2020
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology
Principal Investigator:Silvio Frosini de Barros Ferraz
Grantee:Felipe Rossetti de Paula
Home Institution: Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Forest cover in Amazonia has been constantly changed by the expansion of economic activities, like unmanaged logging extraction and deforestation. These activities has reducing the amount of primary forests in the landscape, increasing the amount of degraded forests (by selective logging and forest fragmentation) and secondary forests (by forest regeneration after land abandonment of unproductive agricultural areas). These altered forests provide less ecological functions than primary forests. This is also true for riparian forests, which perform important ecological functions for the structure and functioning of stream ecosystems. These ecological functions are extremely important in agricultural landscapes where stream ecosystems are constantly exposed to the impacts of the surrounding agriculture, putting at risk the aquatic ecosystems and the water resources. The objective of this research is to evaluate the role of secondary forests at providing ecological functions for the structure and functioning of stream ecosystems, like large wood input (important for habitat formation and biodiversity maintenance) and the maintenance of leaf litter decomposition rates (important for stream heterotrophy). We will use different data set already collected in two regions of the Brazilian Amazon. By the results of this proposal, it is expected to generate new important information for riparian forest and stream management in agricultural landscapes. (AU)