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Past, present and future of habitat use and diet of birds in the face of anthropogenic impacts in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil

Grant number: 20/07619-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2021
Effective date (End): December 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Taxonomy of Recent Groups
Principal Investigator:Luís Fábio Silveira
Grantee:Ana Beatriz Navarro
Home Institution: Museu de Zoologia (MZ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:17/23548-2 - Evaluation, recuperation, and conservation of endangered animal species from the Pernambuco Centre of Endemism, AP.TEM

Abstract

Anthropogenic impacts on the Atlantic Forest (AF) have been occurring for more than 500 years, with an accentuation in the last two centuries, and being the main responsible for the rapid degradation and decline of biodiversity in this biome. Although several aspects of the birds' natural history are known, we still know little about how anthropogenic impacts influence the trophic ecology of this group in AF. In this sense, the use of stable isotopes of carbon (13C / 12C) and nitrogen (15N / 14N) in ornithological studies can help, as they provide information on the use of habitats and diet of individuals. Considering that AF is a biodiversity hotspot, housing several endemic taxa in different biogeographic regions (Bahia Centers, Bahia Coast, Pernambuco and Serra do Mar), it is relevant to understand how, and if, the ecology of birds was modified historically in the face of anthropogenic impacts. Thus, the general objective of this project will be to evaluate possible changes in habitat uses and food resources by birds that occur in endemic centers of AF through a historical and isotopic approach. Feather samples will be collected from museum specimens (historical individuals) and in field campaigns, and subsequently analyzed isotopically. The collections will focus on the Pernambuco and Serra do Mar Endemism Centers, given the similarity of the regions in terms of the impacts associated with human expansion, especially related to changes in land use, with high rates of deforestation for conversion to agricultural areas. The values of the isotopic signatures of carbon (d13C) and nitrogen (d15N), in addition to being evaluated for the use of habitat and diet, will be used to calculate the isotopic niche of historical and modern individuals. Additionally, these values will serve as a basis for predictive modeling, in order to investigate possible future changes in the ecology of birds of AF.