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Identifying landscape features that affect the retention of ecological functions of cerrado mammal assemblages

Grant number: 24/02776-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Master's degree
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2024
Effective date (End): December 28, 2024
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Applied Ecology
Principal Investigator:Adriano Garcia Chiarello
Grantee:Barbara Lima Silva
Supervisor: Cristina Camargo Banks-Leite
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto (FFCLRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Research place: Imperial College London, Silwood Park Campus, England  
Associated to the scholarship:23/08511-6 - Analyzing the effectiveness of the Buffer Zone and its predictors in retaining ecological functions, BP.MS


The Cerrado is a species-rich savannah-like biome that provides several ecosystem services derived from its biodiversity. However, this biome is highly degraded due to intensive over-exploitation and land use . Therefore, protected areas (PAs) and their respective buffer zones - which aim to minimize anthropogenic impacts on PAs - are essential for the conservation of biodiversity and the maintenance of ecological processes. Evidence to date indicates that many species can use or move through the surroundings areas of PAs, but the proportion of functional diversity that remains in the surrounding areas and the variables that influence the loss of functional diversity in these areas remain poorly understood. To address these questions, we will analyze camera trap data on mammal diversity and composition sampled from three areas containing PAs of different management categories in the northeastern state of São Paulo. We will classify species into functional groups according to their ecological functions and examine the distribution of species traits over the landscape characteristics of the areas. We will use a Generalized Linear Model to assess the effect of spatial predictor variables (e.g., landscape composition and configuration metrics) on taxonomic and functional richness. In doing so, we aim to contribute to the management of protected areas by identifying the most affected ecological processes in the buffer zones, as well as the landscape characteristics that are crucial for mitigating the expected decline of species and their associated ecological processes.

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