In forests, trees are responsible for defining the interactions that occur above and below ground. Through litter deposition, they provide the greatest source of organic matter on the soil, which supports communities of organisms capable of decomposing and returning organic and mineral components to the ecosystem. Highly degraded, the Atlantic Forest is the second largest tropical rainforest on the continent, and in the state of São Paulo there are several transitional areas between this biome and the Cerrado, which suffer from anthropic actions. In the current contexts of climate change and ecosystem degradation, many functions performed by the soil microbiota are being lost, which makes the efforts for its recovery essential for the survival of the biomes. Thus, our objectives in this work are to evaluate the contribution of microbiota to the soil of a transitional area between Atlantic Forest and Cerrado, as well as to evaluate the feedback between plants and soil in this environment, considering strategies for the ecological restoration of these areas. We will evaluate the physical, chemical and enzymatic characteristics of the soil, as well as the soil microbiota using molecular biology techniques, such as 16S rRNA gene and ITS region sequencing, in addition to statistical and bioinformatics analysis. We will also evaluate the feedback between the soil from three transition gradients (one area where Atlantic Forest species predominate, one where Cerrado species predominate and one where generalist species predominate) and three native plant species. Based on the results, we hope to provide information on soil microbiota, feedback between species and contribute to restoration protocols for Atlantic Forest and transitional areas, providing data on possible native tree species that act as facilitators of the restoration process. This plan is linked to the project "Applying the biotic soil legacy approach to understand positive-negative biota interactions for direct forest restoration from plant-soil communities feedbacks - BioFor" (joint call FAPESP-NWO, process 2018/19000-4).
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: