Investigating the Funga responses to traditional land management in the São Joaquim National Park, Santa Catarina
Chamada PIICT Bolsa PIBIC/CNPq – BIPI/UFSC 2021/2022. Período de vigência: 01 de agosto de 2021 a 31 de julho de 2022. Orientador: Elisandro Ricardo Drechsler-Santos. Vinculada a Chamada CNPq/MCTI/CONFAP-FAPS/PELD nº 21/2020.
Highland grasslands are a component of the Atlantic Forest vegetation mosaic, being threatened by tree plantations and its neglected situation in conservation efforts and policies. The soil fungi diversity (that is represented by the term Funga) of these environments is also neglected and therefore poorly known, despite its importance to ecosystem functioning. Nevertheless, highland grasslands are held in a state of constant disturbance in the São Joaquim Nation Park area, caused by traditional land management practices applied in these environments. These activities use prescribed fire and cattle to promote vegetation regrowth, decrease bushes density, and livestock feed.
As the traditional land management effects are controversial and not well understood, this project aims to comprehend the impact of these practices in the soil funga and its associated ecosystem functions and processes. This study will use next-generation sequencing techniques, such as metabarcoding.
Through soil samples, Environmental DNA (eDNA), soil fungal diversity will be assessed and its ecological responses to the traditional land management. With a better understanding of the effects of these practices, it will be possible to create better-suited land management that aims to preserve Highland grasslands biodiversity and ecosystem processes.
This project is conducted under the scope of PPBio/Peld 2st cycle: “Biosiversity of Santa Catarina: investigating the historic ecology and the management effects to the restauration and conservation of Atlantic Forest of Southern Brazil (Chamada CNPq/MCTI/CONFAP-FAPS/PELD nº 21/2020. Duration: 2020 to now. Coordinator: Selvino Neckel de Oliveira).
Biodiversity of Santa Catarina: investigating the historic ecology and the management effects to the restauration and conservation of Atlantic Forest of Southern Brazil
The Atlantic Forest is home to one of the greatest biodiversity on the planet. However, the conciliation between conservation and sustainable use of its resources is facing challenges due to their biogeographic characteristics and historical ecology. The São Joaquim National Park (SJNP) is an area of integral protection whose geomorphological, biological and historical ecology aspects are representative of the South-Brazilian Plateau. Here there is a gradiente between high-elevation grasslands and Araucaria Forests, with Subtropical Rainforest at the bottom of the valleys. Its araucaria forests, Cloud Forests and grasslands have been disturbed for decades by intensive land use, mainly by cattle grazing. Systematic studies to learn about the SJNP biodiversity began in 2013 with the implementation of the Santa Catarina Brazilian Program for Biodiversity Research (PPBio-SC) and permanent plots in areas above 1,000m. In 2018, studies were extended to the PNSJ overlapping area with the Serra Furada State Park (SFSP), where the Coastal Atlantic Rainforest predominates.
The main objective of this proposal is to understand how changes in land use, factors related to environmental changes and invasion by exotic species influence the structure of ecosystems and their services along environmental and altitudinal gradients in two Protected Areas in the State of Santa Catarina: São Joaquim National Park and Serra Furada State Park. The quantification and long-term monitoring of the indicators of these changes in both impacted and protected areas contribute to understanding the effects of different types of management on the dynamics and maintenance of diversity and to identify and promote sustainable long-term management of the ecosystems of these Protected Areas.