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Scarano F.R.,Fundacao Brasileira para o Desenvolvimento Sustentavel | Scarano F.R.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro | Ceotto P.,Americas Center for Sustainability
Oecologia Australis | Year: 2016

The recently published report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) acknowledges high altitude ecosystems in Latin America and elsewhere as some of the most vulnerable to climate change. The Brazilian Panel on Climate Change (PBMC, from the acronym in Portuguese) also recognizes the vulnerability of Brazilian high mountain ecosystems, but points out to a significant gap in data and knowledge. This paper briefly reviews the contents in these reports that refer to high altitude ecosystems and cross-compare with biological data available for such formations in Brazil. Emphasis is given to non-forest ecosystems, namely the so-called campos de altitude, and specific data and knowledge gaps are highlighted. The implementation of the existing policy called National Program for Research and Conservation of Mountain Ecosystems would be an important step to fill this gap. © 2016, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). All rights reserved.

Overbeck G.E.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Velez-Martin E.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Scarano F.R.,Fundacao Brasileira para o Desenvolvimento Sustentavel | Scarano F.R.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro | And 14 more authors.
Diversity and Distributions | Year: 2015

In the past decades, Brazil made important progress in the conservation of forest ecosystems. Non-forest ecosystems (NFE), in contrast, have been neglected, even though they cover large parts of the country and have biodiversity levels comparable to forests. To avoid losing much of its biodiversity and ecosystem services, conservation and sustainable land use policies in Brazil need to be extended to NFE. A strategy for conservation of Brazil's NFE should encompass the following elements: (1) creation of new large protected areas in NFE; (2) enforcement of legal restrictions of land use; (3) extension of subsidy programs and governance commitments to NFE; (4) improvement of ecosystem management and sustainable use in NFE; and (5) improvement of monitoring of land use change in NFE. If Brazil managed to extend its conservation successes to NFE, it not only would contribute significantly to conservation of its biodiversity, but also could take the lead in conservation of NFE world-wide. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Scarano F.R.,Fundacao Brasileira para o Desenvolvimento Sustentavel | Scarano F.R.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro | Ceotto P.,Wildlife Conservation Society
Biodiversity and Conservation | Year: 2015

Biodiversity hotspots are among some of the habitats most threatened by climate change, and the Brazilian Atlantic forest is no exception. Only 11.6 % of the natural vegetation cover remains in an intensely fragmented state, which results in high vulnerability of this biome to climate change. Since >60 % of the Brazilian people live within the Atlantic forest domain, societies both in rural and urban areas are also highly vulnerable to climate change. This review examines the vulnerabilities of biodiversity and society in the Atlantic forest to climate change, as well as impacts of land use and climate change, particularly on recent biological evidence of strong synergies and feedback between them. We then discuss the crucial role ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change might play in increasing the resilience of local society to future climate scenarios and provide some ongoing examples of good adaptive practices, especially related to ecosystem restoration and conservation incentive schemes such as payment for ecosystem services. Finally, we list a set of arguments about why we trust that the Atlantic forest can turn from a “shrinking biodiversity hotspot” to a climate adaptation “hope spot” whereby society’s vulnerability to climate change is reduced by protecting and restoring nature and improving human life standards. © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Garbin M.L.,University Vila Velha | Guidoni-Martins K.G.,Federal University of Espirito Santo | Hollunder R.K.,Federal University of Espirito Santo | Mariotte P.,University of Sydney | And 3 more authors.
Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics | Year: 2016

Subordinate species composition and distribution are regarded as a result of the dominant species structure. However, the spatial organization of subordinate species can also be related to dispersal abilities and interactions (competition and facilitation) within subordinate species. Here, we tested the influence of dominant species on subordinate species and examined traits of subordinate species together with their spatial patterns within a tropical coastal plant community. We hypothesized that the identity of dominant species determines subordinate abundance, and dispersal and persistence trait values variation, within coexisting subordinate species. Moreover, we expected that functionally similar subordinate species aggregate in space, regarding these values. We used the relative abundance of shrubs and trees from 83 vegetation patches in 2 ha of Restinga vegetation in southeastern Brazil. We determined trait value dissimilarities between dominant and subordinate species and within subordinates, and tested for the effect of the dominant species on subordinate abundance and trait values variation. Spatial cross-correlation functions were estimated for the four most abundant subordinate species with spline and Moran's I cross-correlograms. Our results showed that dominant and subordinate species exhibit contrasted trait values for dispersal and persistence. However, the composition of subordinate species in patches and the variation in their functional traits were not controlled by the identity of dominant species. Surprisingly, subordinate species segregated in space. Spatial segregation was related to dissimilar trait values within subordinates. However, the identity of dominants and patch size had no control over subordinates' abundance. We suggest that such spatial segregation can result from competitive interactions. Dissimilar functional trait values within subordinate species seem to explain the spatial segregation of these species, principally led by differences in seed production and potential allelopathic interactions (e.g. Myrtaceae species). Therefore, independently of the identity of dominant species, subordinate species have a direct effect on the community composition of the Restinga vegetation. Together, our findings considerably increase knowledge on subordinate species in tropical plant communities and provide new insight into the potential role of subordinate species in community assembly. © 2015 Elsevier GmbH.

Scarano F.R.,Fundacao Brasileira para o Desenvolvimento Sustentavel | Scarano F.R.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro | de Mattos E.A.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro | Franco A.C.,University of Brasilia | And 4 more authors.
Trees - Structure and Function | Year: 2015

Key message: In rupestrian savannas in southeastern BrazilClusia arrudaePlanchon & Trianain the dry season performed CAM-cycling with very little gas exchange in the early morning followed by a long depression during the rest of the day. CAM-cycling is considered as a survival strategy under drought and the productivity of the plant which is quite abundant must rely on performance of C3-photosynthesis in more favorable seasons.Abstract: In rupestrian savannas in the Serra do Cipó (19°14′48.9″S, 43°30′36.0″W) at 1300 m a.s.l. and in the Serra de São José (21°08′S, 44°17′W) at 1010–1030 m a.s.l. in southeastern Brazil Clusia arrudae Planchon & Triana is abundant. As CAM is frequent in the genus Clusia we supposed that it would perform CAM as a drought adaptation at the very dry rupestrian savanna sites in the dry season. At the Serra do Cipó site as control we studied the obligate C3-species Eremanthus glomerulatus Less. Both species are sympatric at this site. Eremanthus glomerulatus performed C3-photosynthesis with a midday depression. The patterns of C. arrudae were completely different so that genuine C3-photosynthesis was excluded, but they were also not typical of CAM. The stomata were almost closed during the night. Some stomatal opening and net CO2 uptake occurred in the early morning hours followed by a long depression with stomatal closure throughout the rest of the day. Nevertheless, photo inhibition was limited and photosynthetic electron transport rate remained high during this time indicating that photosynthetic excitation energy was required and suggesting that CO2 assimilation was continuing behind closed stomata based on internal sources of CO2. There was some nocturnal accumulation of organic acids (malic and citric acids) which could represent a source of CO2 during the light period. Overall, the observations can be best explained by the performance of CAM-cycling by C. arrudae. However, leaf carbon gain of C. arrudae was much inferior to that of E. glomerulatus. CAM-cycling appears to be a strategy for protection from photoinhibitory damage and survival under strong conditions of drought. Steeper more vertical leaf positions observed would assist reducing overheating during stomatal closure at high irradiance. The abundance of C. arrudae suggests that the plant must have other means to sustain productivity such as full C3-photosynthesis in the more favorable seasons. © 2015 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

Medina B.M.O.,Fundacao Brasileira para o Desenvolvimento Sustentavel | Ribeiro K.T.,Instituto Chico Mendes Of Conservacao Da Biodiversidade Icmbio | Aximoff I.A.,Institute Pesquisa Do Jardim Botanico Do Rio Of Janeiro | Scarano F.R.,Fundacao Brasileira para o Desenvolvimento Sustentavel | Scarano F.R.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
Oecologia Australis | Year: 2016

Stevia camporum (Asteraceae) is a threatened and endemic geophyte of the rocky outcrop vegetation in the high altitude grasslands on the top of the Itatiaia massif. This is a locally abundant plant, which establishes itself preferentially on vegetation mats dominated by pioneer species such as mosses (Campylopus pilifer) and by the vascular endemic plants Fernseea itatiaiae and Barbacenia gounelleana. With a very distinctive morphology, these nurse plants may differently influence the dynamics of S. camporum. These relations were previously studied for two years when a 3-day unnatural fire burned the grassy vegetation around the rocky outcrops, thereby affecting indirectly the vegetation mats (islands) growing at the exposed rocky surfaces, through ash emissions and changes on the availability of nutrients. We described pre-fire (1999-2001) and post-fire (2002-2003) population demography and growth of S. camporum under the hypothesis that Stevia demography would change due to effects of fire, such as nutrient income and, further, that responses would vary according to the dominant pioneer species of each vegetation mat. Forty-three islands containing S. camporum (total area of 30.08m2) were monitored. Despite considerable variation in rainfall between years, population structure and dynamics of S. camporum were very similar in the two pre-fire growing seasons. A massive increase in the frequency of branches in the first size class followed fire, but with nearly no changes in the other classes with a thinning process being observed. The height, number of nodes and number of fruits of Stevia camporum’s ramets showed significant differences when comparing the values for periods before and after the fire. Stevia’s demography on Fernseea (Bromeliaceae) mats was significantly different in relation to the other mat species, after fire. In Itatiaia, indirect effects of smoke produced by fire episodes seem to trigger rapid responses on rupicolous communities followed by rapid return to previous conditions, particularly in secondary species. Prolonged effects on more often disturbed communities remain to be seen, and might be relevant to community structure of high altitude outcrop vegetation. © 2016, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). All rights reserved.

Luttge U.,TU Darmstadt | Scarano F.R.,Fundacao Brasileira Para o Desenvolvimento Sustentavel | Scarano F.R.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro | de Mattos E.A.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro | And 6 more authors.
Trees - Structure and Function | Year: 2015

Key message: Plasticity of ecophysiological acclimation determines habitat occupation of species ofClusiain an Atlantic rainforest of Brazil. Ecophysiological performance is not sufficient for explaining widespread versus locally restricted distribution of species among physiognomic sub-sites within the forest. Abstract: Four species of Clusia were studied that have distinct habitat distribution patterns within an Atlantic rainforest research reserve, in Espírito Santo state, southeast Brazil, throughout five sites: a riverine forest, a hill forest, two rock outcrops and an ecotone hill forest/rock outcrop. Clusiaaemygdioi Gomes da Silva & B. Weinberg and Clusia intermedia G. Mariz were locally widespread among the sites while Clusia marizii Gomes da Silva & B. Weinberg and Clusia spiritu-sanctensis G. Mariz & B.Weinberg were locally restricted. Clusia spiritu-sanctensis was the only obligate crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) species, showing low 13C-discrimination (δ13C −16.5 to −19.2  ‰) and nocturnal acid accumulation. Data of 13C discrimination and photosynthetic performance show that C. marizii, C. intermedia and C. aemygdioi performed C3 photosynthesis. The latter may have some intrinsic capacity for CAM, which needs to be further studied. Because of local abundance Tibouchina heteromalla (D. Don) Cogn. (Melastomaceae) and Kielmeyeraocchioniana Saddi (Clusiaceae) were included for comparison with the Clusia species and for typical obligate C3-photosynthesis behaviour. We asked whether the habitat occupation patterns of the studied species could be explained by ecophysiological performance especially with respect to photosynthesis. The hill forest with a denser tree cover was the most shaded site, and the plants there had shade-plant characteristics, while at all the other sites the plants showed sun-plant features. Clusia intermedia consistently had an inferior performance. Nevertheless, it is equally abundant as C. aemygdioi in one of the sun-exposed, and probably most stressful rock outcrop sites. The obligate C3-species T. heteromalla performed remarkably well. The CAM in C. spiritu-sanctensis did not appear to be directly related to habitat occupation although it conferred plasticity by flexible expression of CAM phases. Flexibility of acclimation determined habitat occupation of the plants performing C3 photosynthesis. Ecophysiological performance of the four Clusia species was only slightly related to widespread versus restricted occurrence patterns. Thus, ecophysiological performance alone is not sufficient for explaining the local distribution and abundance of these species, and aspects related to reproductive output deserve future examination. © 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

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