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Landscape genetics in areas of the Center of Endemism Pernambuco (CEP)

Grant number: 20/13489-1
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2021
Effective date (End): January 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Interdisciplinary Subjects
Principal researcher:Mercival Roberto Francisco
Grantee:Mariellen Cristine Costa
Home Institution: Centro de Ciências e Tecnologias para a Sustentabilidade (CCTS). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). Sorocaba , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:17/23548-2 - Evaluation, recovering and conservation of endangered animal species from the Pernambuco Centre of Endemism, AP.TEM

Abstract

Animal species from the Center of Endemism Pernambuco (CEP) invariably occur in small and isolated forest fragments. For this reason, we predict that many populations may be exposed to the effects of inbreeding and genetic drift. The main negative effects of the resulting inbreeding and loss of genetic variability are fertility reduction and loss of adaptability. In these cases, levels of gene flow determine the risk of extinction by genetic causes, since when there is recent gene flow, even small populations of critically endangered species can be stable, not requiring genetic management. Landscape Genetics is the field of investigation that emerged in order to evaluate how environmental variables can impact the movement of organisms and how landscape components can shape functional connectivity between populations. Some studies have shown high levels of genetic structure in Neotropical forest Passerines, indicating low dispersion power, however, little is known about the parameters that affect dispersion in fragmented environments. An important parameter for understanding extinction processes and for conservation planning in fragmented environments is the "percolation threshold", defined as the minimum amount of habitat needed in a given landscape for a species to be able to move between stains. Although several studies have addressed how the characteristics of the matrix explain the occurrence and diversity of species in the fragments , little is known about how the percolation thresholds affect gene flow in Neotropical birds. Thus, this proposal aims to investigate the functional genetic connectivity of bird species in remnants of the Atlantic Forest of Alagoas. The study will assess the factors limiting the dispersion and affecting gene flow between bird populations in disturbed forest environments. This information can be used to guide genetic management practices and the maintenance of bird populations in this fragmented region. (AU)

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