Little is known about past vegetation dynamics in Eastern Tropical South America (ETSA). Here we describe patterns of chloroplast (cp) DNA variation in Plathymenia reticulata, a widespread tree in the ETSA Atlantic Forest and Cerrado biomes, but not found in the xeromorphic Caatinga. Forty one populations, comprising 220 individuals, were analysed by sequencing the trnS-trnG and trnL-trnL-trnF cpDNA regions. Combined, they resulted in 18 geographically structured haplotypes. The central region of the sampling area, comprising Minas Gerais and Goiás Brazilian states, is a centre of genetic diversity and probably the most longstanding area of the distribution range of the species. In contrast, populations from northeastern Brazil and the southern Cerrados showed very low diversity levels, almost exclusively with common haplotypes which are also found in the central region. Coupled with a long-branched star-like network, these patterns suggest a recent range expansion of P. reticulata to those regions from central region sources. The recent origin of the species (in the early Pleistocene) or the extinction of some populations due to drier and cooler climate during the last glacial maximum could have been responsible for that phylogeographic pattern. The populations from northeastern Brazil originated from two colonization routes, one eastern (Atlantic) and one western (inland). Due to its high diversity and complex landscape, the central region, especially central-north Minas Gerais (between 15 degrees -18 degrees S and 42 degrees -46 degrees W), should be given the highest priority for conservation.
Few studies have addressed the phylogeography of species of the Cerrado, the largest savanna biome of South America. Here we aimed to investigate the phylogeographical structure of Dalbergia miscolobium, a widespread tree from the Cerrado, and to verify its concordance with plant phylogeographical and biogeographical patterns so far described. A total of 287 individuals from 32 populations were analyzed by sequencing the trnL intron of the chloroplast DNA and the internal transcribed spacer of the nuclear ribosomal DNA. Analysis of population structure and tests of population expansion were performed and the time of divergence of haplotypes was estimated. Twelve and 27 haplotypes were identified in the cpDNA and nrDNA data, respectively. The star-like network configuration and the mismatch distributions indicated a recent spatial and demographic expansion of the species. Consistent with previous tree phylogeographical studies of Cerrado trees, the cpDNA also suggested a recent expansion towards the southern Cerrado. The diversity of D. miscolobium was widespread but high levels of genetic diversity were found in the Central Eastern and in the southern portion of Central Western Cerrado. The combined analysis of cpDNA and nrDNA supported a phylogeographic structure into seven groups. The phylogeographical pattern showed many concordances with biogeographical and phylogeographical studies in the Cerrado, mainly with the Cerrado phytogeographic provinces superimposed to our sampling area. The data reinforced the uniqueness of Northeastern and Southeastern Cerrados and the differentiation between Eastern and Western Central Cerrados. The recent diversification of the species (estimated between the Pliocene and the Pleistocene) and the ‘genealogical concordances’ suggest that a shared and persistent pattern of species diversification might have been present in the Cerrado over time. This is the first time that an extensive ‘genealogical concordance’ between phylogeographic and phytogeographic patterns is shown for the Cerrado biome.
ABstRAct.Traditionally, molecular studies of plant species have used leaves as the source of DNA. However, sampling leaves from tall tree species can be quite difficult and expensive. We developed a sequence of procedures for using stem bark as a source of DNA from Leguminosae trees of the Atlantic Forest and the Cerrado. Leguminosae is an important species-rich family in these two highly diverse and endangered biomes. A modified CTAB protocol for DNA isolation is described, and details of the procedures for sampling and storage of the bark are given. The procedures were initially developed for three species, and then their applicability for 15 other species was evaluated. DNA of satisfactory quality was obtained from the bark of all species. The amounts of DNA obtained from leaves were slightly DNA from Leguminosae tree bark higher than from bark samples, while its purity was the same. Storing the bark frozen or by drying in silica gel yielded similar results. Polymerase chain reaction amplification worked for both plastid and nuclear genomes. This alternative for isolating DNA from bark samples of trees facilitates field work with these tree species.
Land-use change (LUC) in Brazil has important implications on global climate change, ecosystem services and biodiversity, and agricultural expansion plays a critical role in this process. Concerns over these issues have led to the need for estimating the magnitude and impacts associated with that, which are increasingly reported in the environmental assessment of products. Currently, there is an extensive debate on which methods are more appropriate for estimating LUC and related emissions and regionalized estimates are lacking for Brazil, which is a world leader in agricultural production (e.g. food, fibres and bioenergy). We developed a method for estimating scenarios of past 20-year LUC and derived CO emission rates associated with 64 crops, pasture and forestry in Brazil as whole and in each of its 27 states, based on time-series statistics and in accordance with most used carbon-footprinting standards. The scenarios adopted provide a range between minimum and maximum rates of CO emissions from LUC according to different possibilities of land-use transitions, which can have large impacts in the results. Specificities of Brazil, like multiple cropping and highly heterogeneous carbon stocks, are also addressed. The highest CO emission rates are observed in the Amazon biome states and crops with the highest rates are those that have undergone expansion in this region. Some states and crops showing large agricultural areas have low emissions associated, especially in southern and eastern Brazil. Native carbon stocks and time of agricultural expansion are the most decisive factors to the patterns of emissions. Some implications on LUC estimation methods and standards and on agri-environmental policies are discussed.
An extraordinary moment of agricultural modernization is currently underway due to innovations in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). In this process, management precepts are renewed, fostering significant gains in efficiency, productivity, and sustainable use of natural resources and the environment. The growing supply of ICTs and the extension of connectivity in rural areas, with their transforming roles in productive practices and economic relations, bring about questions regarding their impacts. These technologies include precision positioning systems and large volume databases, electronic sensors of site-specific production and environmental conditions, repositories of relational data, statistical and crop forecasting software, methodologies and processes; web-based information services, among others. The assessment of impacts focused on ICTs for agriculture needs innovative approaches, due to the peculiarities of their applications, the different scales of their socioenvironmental scopes and, at the same time, the verification of effectiveness of institutional investments on research, development, and innovation (RD&I). Based on these premises, the objectives of this work are to present a 'module of impact indicators for Information and Communication Technologies (Ambitec-TICs)' , and assess its application to six typical technology adoption cases resulting from agricultural RD&I projects. The results detail critical analyses of the contributions of the proposed module for the registration, interpretation, and communication of impacts, with recommendations for technology transfer and accountability in institutional Social Balance documentation.
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