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Does the protection of aerial buds in woody plants occur in response to fire in Cerrado?

Grant number: 18/21300-6
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2019
Effective date (End): July 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Botany
Principal Investigator:Alessandra Tomaselli Fidelis
Grantee:Marco Antonio Chiminazzo
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Rio Claro. Rio Claro , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:15/06743-0 - How does fire season affect Cerrado vegetation?, AP.JP
Associated scholarship(s):19/24989-8 - Tree adaptations to fire: a comparison between African and Brazilian savannas, BE.EP.MS


In savannas and campestre formations, fire exerts an important function as a limiting factor due to the presence of a dense gramineous stratum that acts as a flammable material for the beginning and continuity of fires. Thus, the plants inserted in these ecosystems were selected through their functional attributes to survive the stress caused by fire. The protection of the aerial buds is an important trait to determine the occurrence of woody species in African and Australian savannas, as well as the production of bark for the perpetuation of the individuals. In this project we hypothesized that the protection of aerial buds is a functional attribute conditioning for the species in the Cerrado, since species with more protected buds should be more frequent in the physiognomies most exposed to the fire events and, in addition, they will have a higher bark production when compared to the species that occur in non-fire dependent physiognomy. Thus, the research aims to compare, through the analysis of tree and shrub communities, the degree of protection of buds and bark production in Cerrado's different phytophysiognomies. In order to do this, transects will be allocated to savanna, campestre and forest physiognomies, where the functional traits will be studied, seeking information that will help to understand the adaptive mechanisms of the Cerrado's species in response to fire and, consequently, the vegetation strategies to overcome this stress, elucidating, even, possible evolutionary convergences of the Cerrado with others savannas of the planet.