Copper, zinc and nickel are heavy metals and essential micronutrients for plant growth and development. However, due to the increase in anthropic actions, there is an increasing entry of these elements in natural environments, especially in places close to emission sources such as urban forest fragments, posing risks to the environment and the biota. In addition to increasing levels of heavy metals, atmospheric polluting activities are also causing global climate change, such as an increase in temperature and in the concentration of potentially toxic gases, such as ozone. In order to guarantee their survival, the plants developed several physiological and biochemical mechanisms to protect against these stressors, such as phytochelatins, metallothioneins and root organic acids. However, the ability to synthesize these organic compounds, as well as physiological responses to the combination of abiotic stressors, are still unknown in several plant species, especially species from the Atlantic Forest. Species from different habits and functional groups must have different tolerance strategies against environmental stressors. Therefore, the project aims to evaluate the production of tolerance organic compounds, in seedlings of five species of different native Atlantic Forest life habits, cultivated in hydroponic solution enriched with heavy metals and subjected to conditions of increased temperature and concentration of atmospheric ozone. The research project will consist of three experimental stages. In the first step, the determination of the hydroponic method and the concentrations of heavy metals will be carried out. In the second step, the quantification of organic compounds in the species will be carried out. In the third stage, 2 experiments will be carried out to combine stressors (temperature + metals; ozone + metals). The parameters analyzed will be leaf gas exchange, chlorophyll fluorescence, concentration and relative content of pigments, biometrics and biomass, tissue nutritional analysis, root organic acids, phytochelatins, glutathione and metallothioneins.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: