Project approved by CNPq makes center third PELD for Rio Grande do Sul
Created in 1999, the Programa de Pesquisas Ecológicas de Longa Duração – PELD (Long-Term Ecological Research Program) is a program of the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development – CNPq, intended to put together a network of reference sites for long-term scientific research in the area of Ecosystem Ecology. Today, there are 34 PELD sites in operation, two of which in Rio Grande do Sul: PELD Campos Sulinos and PELD Estuário da Lagoa dos Patos e Costa Adjacente.
In a recent call for proposals, whose results came out earlier this week, CNPq has increased the number of sites receiving funding to 41. This includes the Reserva Particular do Patrimônio Natural (RPPN) Pró-Mata as a new PELD site in Rio Grande do Sul.
RPPN Pró-Mata embraces, in its 3,100 ha, remaining natural and regenerating Atlantic Rainforest ecosystems, located over by the Serra Geral plateau, in the city of São Francisco de Paula. The RPPN includes High Altitude Fields, Araucaria Moist Forests and Atlantic Rainforest and is home to a remarkable wealth of tropical flora and fauna elements. Representing a relevant portion of the Atlantic Rainforest of Rio Grande do Sul, as registered by UNESCO, it is part of the Atlantic Rainforest Biosphere Reserve. It is also internationally recognized as one of the 25 biodiversity hotspots worldwide.
The approved project, which will receive investments in the amount of BRL 336,728.00, is divided into eight subprojects, each of which coordinated by an experienced and recognized researcher, with the collaboration of researchers from UFRGS and UNISINOS. All subprojects will meet the following general objectives:
1. Describe and quantify the succession processes in fragments of primary and secondary rainforest; the change in the composition, density, age structure and biomass of species; as well as the carbon fixation dynamics.
2. Describe and quantify how succession occurs in the field fragments and how it impacts on the rainforest. Assess the influence of disturbances on the biological diversity of fields, as well as the frequency of fires resulting in greater plant and animal diversity in rural areas.
3. Identify the biota’s responses in long-term processes in the context of global climate change; the increased anthropic impact on habitat change and fragmentation, as well as the large-scale environmental application of agrochemicals.
4. Describe and quantify, in the long run, the changes in diversity, the abundance of native bees as a functional group of pollination, spiders as top of chain invertebrates, amphibians as a globally threatened group, as well as birds and mammals as emblematic and highly significant groups.
5. Describe the evolution of biota over time, both in terms of diversity and relative abundance, measured through the amplification of environmental DNA (e-DNA) fragments collected in water and soil samples. These samples will be identified at a specific level through a DNA barcoding library for regional fauna and flora.