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The role of plant functional traits in the success rates of restoration efforts of tropical dry forests and savannas (TDFS)

Grant number: 19/18176-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2019
Effective date (End): June 30, 2023
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Applied Ecology
Acordo de Cooperação: NERC, UKRI
Principal Investigator:Rafael Silva Oliveira
Grantee:Demetrius Lira Martins
Host Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:19/07773-1 - Restoring neo-tropical dry ecosystems - is plant functional composition the key to success?, AP.TEM


Tropical dry forests and savannas (TDFS) play a significant role in the global water and carbon balance. In Brazil, TDFS occupies extensive areas of the territory, and provides important ecosystem process that are relevant for the national economic and social security. Even though its major importance in global and regional scale, the conservation of TDFS have been largely neglected, which resulted in its extensive degradation. Only recently, efforts have been conducted to conservation and restoration of TDFS. However, restoration of TDFS is a complex process and have obtained low success rates. The low success rates obtained might be related to its focus on plant species restoration, ignoring the potential role of plant species key functional traits. Ultimately, plant traits indicate the potential of species to tolerate and even affect environmental conditions, indicating, thus, if certain species are able to establish and even favor the establishment of other species in an ecosystem. Therefore, in this project we aim to identify if and which plant functional traits are good predictors of restoration success of TDFS, and identify its relation with the restoration strategy applied. Since restoration strategies involves modifications in environmental conditions, we expect that different sets of plant functional traits will be selected by different restoration strategies. For this, we will monitor experimental restoration plots deployed in the Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park and Floresta Nacional do Açu. In each plot, we will measure hydraulic, metabolic, nutritional and fire resistance traits of individuals of species that represents 80% of plant communities at the plots. From those measures, we will obtain the community weighted mean of each trait per plot and correlate those values with variables related to the success of restoration, in order to identify the keys plant traits to be considered for TDFS restoration. To evaluate the relation between restoration strategy and plant traits, we will divide the plots in treatments according to the strategy used, and conduct the same analysis described above. The identification of plant key functional traits to the successful TDFS restoration and its relation to the restoration strategy used will serve as a guideline for future restoration efforts, increasing its success rates and efficiency in the resource use.

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
LIRA-MARTINS, DEMETRIUS; NASCIMENTO, DIEGO LUCIANO; ABRAHAO, ANNA; COSTA, PATRICIA DE BRITTO; D'ANGIOLI, ANDRE M.; VALEZIO, EVERTON; ROWLAND, LUCY; OLIVEIRA, RAFAEL S.. Soil properties and geomorphic processes influence vegetation composition, structure, and function in the Cerrado Domain. PLANT AND SOIL, v. 476, n. 1-2, p. 40-pg., . (19/07773-1, 19/18176-4)
BARROS, F. DE. V.; LEWIS, K.; ROBERTSON, A. D.; PENNINGTON, R. T.; HILL, T. C.; MATTHEWS, C.; LIRA-MARTINS, D.; MAZZOCHINI, G. G.; OLIVEIRA, R. S.; ROWLAND, L.. Cost-effective restoration for carbon sequestration across Brazil's biomes. Science of The Total Environment, v. 876, p. 12-pg., . (19/18145-1, 19/18176-4, 19/07773-1)

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