composition changes along environmental gradients and geographical
determines the species composition in a given area? This
apparently simple question can be very hard to answer when
ecologists cannot make experimental tests on biological
communities. Using a termite metacommunity, we are
studying how the species dispersal and environmental
limitations interact to produce the observed patterns of
species diversity in the Brazilian Amazonian Forest.
Starting with a neutral model, we will integrate
environmental information to estimate the probability of
dispersal and survival for individuals among areas based
on the distance and environmental similarities among
identification using spectrometry!
comprehend a diverse group of insects on tropical forests.
Just in a small area of the Amazonian forest, I found
about 80 termite species. For some genera of even entire
subfamilies, the identification to the species level can
be harsh mostly when soldiers are not present on the
samples. Recently, some studies have shown how powerful
spectrometry is to identify plants and now we are about to
test such methods for the termite identification. On the
first semester of 2013, Renato Azevedo, an undergrad and a
partner on this project, will be collecting the
wavelengths frequencies for the first 150 colonies.
Preliminary results showed 100% of the Cylindrotermes species
properly identified using this method, just using workers!
of small-mammal diversity on the Brazilian Atlantic Forest
studies have hypothesized about how the species are
distributed on the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Some studies
rely on the Refugia zones to explain why some areas have
endemic species and higher diversity while others try to
associate current climate and environmental conditions to
species distribution. In this project a group of Brazilian Mammalogists, Dr. Nilton
Cáceres, Dr. Nick Gotelli, and me are
comparing a set of possible hypothesis about the
small-mammal distribution on the entire region to conclude
about the most likely explanation for the species
diversity patterns on the area. Our models include the
environment and dispersive processes as well.
to roads affects termite species composition by changing
soil conditions and canopy structure
this project we investigated how the environmental
conditions (soil moisture and canopy openness) change as
we go deeper inside the forests from the road margins. We
then sampled termites from more than 50 species on the
same areas and showed how the species composition and
diversity change for each termite trophic group following
this distance to the road gradient. The link for the paper
can be accessed in CV.