Moreover, destruction of the Cerrado represents an inestimable loss in terms of biodiversity. At the microscale, this biome, containing areas with 35 different plant species per square meter, is richer in flora and fauna than the tropical forest biome.
The Cerrado is known to have significant natural regeneration potential. However, how far does its resilience go?
Researcher - Gisela - Durigan - São - Paulo
Brazilian researcher Gisela Durigan, from the São Paulo State University (UNESP), conducts a study with the support form the Sao Paulo Research Foundation -- FAPESP, performed in old pasture areas -- originally part of the Cerrado biome, they currently enjoy from 'legal reserves' status and started a process of natural regeneration.
The scientist explains that natural regeneration of Cerrado's vegetation is a phenomenon restricted to trees. Which is the same as saying that farming's damaging effects on Cerrado's biodiversity is definitive -- unless preservation policies can be perfected to the point where it will be possible to restore propitious conditions for the abundant ground layer species.
Ground - Layer - Species - Pasture - Time
"We discovered that the ground layer, which contains most endemic species, doesn't regenerate once it's been destroyed. Therefore, when pasture is simply abandoned, after a time it becomes cerradão, high-canopy closed forest with poor biodiversity," Durigan said.
The study, whose results published in Journal of Applied Ecology, was conducted as part of the PhD research of Mário Guilherme de Biagi Cava, who had a scholarship from FAPESP, with Durigan as supervisor. It was also supported by a research grant awarded to Professor Milton Cezar Ribeiro and a doctoral scholarship awarded to Natashi Aparecida Lima Pilon.
Research - Areas - State - Sao - Paulo
The research comprehended 29 areas in the state of Sao Paulo surveyed on their vegetation, counting both trees and the small plants (shrubs, grasses, etc.) that make up the ground layer and constitute the greatest treasure of the Cerrado's flora. Although these 29 areas, with ages ranging from four...
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