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Functional and anatomical trait variations and their role in the distribution of hyper-dominant Amazonian tree species

Grant number: 23/09253-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): September 30, 2023
Effective date (End): December 29, 2023
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Applied Ecology
Principal Investigator:Peter Stoltenborg Groenendyk
Grantee:Nelson Eliecer Jaén Barrios
Supervisor: Robert Muscarella
Host Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Research place: Uppsala University (UU), Sweden  
Associated to the scholarship:19/22516-5 - Wood hydraulic traits, tree-ring, and stable isotope analyses of Eschweilera coriacea in the Brazilian Amazon, BP.DD


In the Amazon, approximately 227 species of trees are considered hyper-dominant, which have a significant influence on biomass and the carbon cycle. This hyper-dominance is the result of life history and different ecological strategies, which can vary within species and are modulated by the effect of environmental stresses, with water stress being a major modulator. Functional traits are characteristics that help explain the ecological strategies of species in the Amazon, which can vary congeneric and intra-specific in small gradients. Many studies focus on understanding how different ecological processes affect the distribution of functional traits in tropical forests, and different models are used to estimate ecological niches and species distribution, such as Ecological Niches Models (ENMs), which use various predictor variables and commonly used to test different biogeographic hypotheses. However, it is important to consider the variations of functional traits within species, as this leads to co-existence between different species and their distribution along a climatic and abiotic gradient. Our objectives are to understand the variability in lumen area of xylem vessels among different genera/species in relation to their embolism resistance along a large-scale environmental gradient in the Amazon and to evaluate the distribution limits of different hyper-dominant genera/species using climatic variables and model their distribution while incorporating the relationship between different functional traits and climate. For this purpose, we compiled a dataset from different studies conducted in different periods and locations of the Amazon, that measured embolism resistance in branches of trees from different genera/species considered as hyper-dominant with a wide distribution. To determine different climatic and abiotic factors for each study location and relate them to functional and anatomical traits, we will use the 'ENMeval' package. This approach will not only explore how climate in absolute terms affects the functioning of species but also how this functioning varies on relative terms according to each species. This proposal is a collaboration with Professor Robert Muscarella at Uppsala University's Department of Ecology (Uppsala, Sweden). (AU)

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