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Butterflies of the Atlantic Forest: a historical perspective on biogeographic patterns

Grant number: 18/19171-3
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2020
Status:Discontinued
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology
Principal Investigator:André Victor Lucci Freitas
Grantee:Patrícia Eyng Gueratto
Home Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Biogeography and Macroecology are sciences that aim to understand the spatial distribution of the biodiversity, investigating patterns observed and the processes that have shaped them. As such processes are the result of several factors, an integrative approach is proposed to better understand them. The Atlantic Forest is a global conservation priority, once it maintains great levels of biodiversity and also has high rates of devastation, being one of the biodiversity hotspots of the world. The distribution of diversity in the biome is complex, resulted both from the heterogeneity of bioclimatic conditions that it is submitted and from the processes of species diversification, influenced by geomorphological and climate changes through time. Integrating the different faces of Biogeography and Macroecology, this work aims to investigate how historical and contemporary climate conditions and biogeographic processes shape the patterns of diversity in the Atlantic Forest, and how these patterns were modified with the anthropic changes in the landscape. To this end, tools of niche modeling and historical biogeography will be used, with butterflies from the Actinote group as study model. The group is widely distributed in South and Central America and presents greater diversification rate in the mountains of the southeast Atlantic Forest. Some of the hypotheses that will be tested are related to the effect of the cycles of glaciation and interglacial during Pleistocene on the group diversification and distribution, and the consequences of fragmentation and habitat loss on its diversity patterns. As products, this project aims to generate information that helps the understanding of the processes and factors that lead to the current distribution of diversity in the biome and in the planning of conservation strategies. (AU)