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FAPESP and the Sustainable Development Goals

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SDG 15 Life on Land

News

SDG 15 Life on Land

Animals essential to seed dispersal are the first to disappear owing to deforestation
SDG 15
Animals essential to seed dispersal are the first to disappear owing to deforestation

Large mammals and birds that can swallow fruit of different sizes are crucial to assure rich animal-plant interactions, thanks to which forests thrive, according to a study conducted at São Paulo State University.


Extant species of <i>Atta</i> leaf-cutting ants may have benefited from expansion of the Cerrado
SDG 15
Extant species of <i>Atta</i> leaf-cutting ants may have benefited from expansion of the Cerrado

These ants emerged some 8.5 million years ago and underwent an intense speciation process between 1 million and 3 million years ago, when the Brazilian savanna was expanding. The recent advance of agriculture in the region, however, appears to be reducing this biodiversity and selecting species that damage crops.


Properly managed fire enhances functional diversity and carbon fixation in savannas
SDG 15
Properly managed fire enhances functional diversity and carbon fixation in savannas

A study led by Brazilian researchers measured species numbers and attributes, as well as carbon dynamics, in two areas of the Brazilian savanna – one is regularly burned and no fires have occurred in the other for 16 years.


Biologist uses satellite imagery and AI to map glory trees in Brazil’s Atlantic Rainforest
SDG 15
Biologist uses satellite imagery and AI to map glory trees in Brazil’s Atlantic Rainforest

Innovative, artificial intelligence-based methodology detects occurrences of Pleroma by identifying blooms, and maps distribution in biome.


Protected areas use unreliable methods to monitor presence of deer, study shows
SDG 15
Protected areas use unreliable methods to monitor presence of deer, study shows

An analysis of the management plans for 118 protected areas in all parts of Brazil shows that 60% use methodologies that may yield an incorrect diagnosis of the threat to the various species of deer, especially those living in forests. The researchers have produced an illustrated guide to help identify species in future stocktaking exercises.


In bats, the ability to gestate twins is associated with a shorter lifespan
SDG 15
In bats, the ability to gestate twins is associated with a shorter lifespan

A Brazilian study that reconstructs the evolutionary history of flying mammals suggests expenditure of resources to gestate two young simultaneously results in a shorter lifespan.


Study extends amphibians’ known reproductive modes from 39 to 74 and creates new classification
SDG 13, SDG 15
Study extends amphibians’ known reproductive modes from 39 to 74 and creates new classification

Carrying eggs on their back, laying them in bromeliads or depositing them on leaves are some of the strategies cataloged by Brazilian researchers in a study that will help scientists understand the evolution of vertebrates and contribute to conservation policy.


Aquatic fungus has already wiped amphibians off the map and now threatens survival of terrestrial frogs
SDG 13, SDG 15
Aquatic fungus has already wiped amphibians off the map and now threatens survival of terrestrial frogs

A study detected unprecedented mortality in the Atlantic Rainforest among tiny frogs that live on land, with signs of infection by chytrid fungus. The episode coincided with an atypical period of drought, which may have forced the animals to seek water in streams where the pathogen is abundant.


Riverine barriers influenced but were not decisive for the evolution of the Amazon’s huge plant diversity
SDG 15
Riverine barriers influenced but were not decisive for the evolution of the Amazon’s huge plant diversity

A study by the University of São Paulo shows that where the Negro River is very wide certain plants found on one bank are not found on the other. Overall, however, the extraordinary variety of species is due more to ecology than geography.


First genetic sequencing of Brazilian pit viper is completed
SDG 15
First genetic sequencing of Brazilian pit viper is completed

In an article published in PNAS, researchers affiliated with Butantan Institute describe the genome of Bothrops jararaca and suggest the origin of genes responsible for toxins in its venom.


Birds that disperse more types of seed have better evolutionary chances
SDG 15
Birds that disperse more types of seed have better evolutionary chances

A study conducted at the University of São Paulo and published in Science correlates birds and plants in seed dispersal networks.


Scientists describe paternal behavior unique to spiders in species that lives in Brazil
SDG 15
Scientists describe paternal behavior unique to spiders in species that lives in Brazil

Study shows that males of the species Manogea porracea protect spiderlings and eggs against predators even if they cannot be sure of their paternity.


Poaching affects behavior of critically endangered capuchin monkeys in Brazilian biological reserve
SDG 15
Poaching affects behavior of critically endangered capuchin monkeys in Brazilian biological reserve

Contradicting theories of primatologists, a study led by Brazilian scientists shows that in a habitat with high hunting pressure, the risk of predation influences the habits of these monkeys more than the availability of food. They spend less time in areas they perceive as ‘more dangerous’ even if plant biomass and invertebrates are more abundant there.


Study effects paradigm shift in the understanding of how red rot attacks sugarcane
SDG 15
Study effects paradigm shift in the understanding of how red rot attacks sugarcane

Researchers at the University of São Paulo discover that the fungus Fusarium verticillioides uses volatile compounds to manipulate insects and plants, promoting its own dissemination.


Chip mimicking bovine endometrium used in study of factors that can jeopardize pregnancy
SDG 15
Chip mimicking bovine endometrium used in study of factors that can jeopardize pregnancy

The device was used for the first time to culture two maternal endometrial cell types, revealing the effects of alterations in glucose and insulin levels in the uterine environment. It can also be converted into a model for study of pregnancy in humans and endometriosis.


Mapping of butterfly species distribution in Atlantic Rainforest areas identifies conservation priorities
SDG 13, SDG 15
Mapping of butterfly species distribution in Atlantic Rainforest areas identifies conservation priorities

Butterflies are considered a key biological indicator of trends in the biome. The study quantified the contributions of landscape and climate variables to current species distribution patterns.


Neotropical wasps were ruled by workers some 55 million years ago
SDG 15
Neotropical wasps were ruled by workers some 55 million years ago

A study by researchers at São Paulo State University reinforces the idea that environmental and climate-related changes resulting from the Andean uplift triggered a revolution in the caste system of these paper wasps.


An international research group proposes six guidelines for managing the impacts of invasive species
SDG 11, SDG 15
An international research group proposes six guidelines for managing the impacts of invasive species

Researchers in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and the UK are participating in the initiative. Results are published in the journal BioScience.


Behavior of wild capuchin monkeys can be identified by marks left on their tools
SDG 15
Behavior of wild capuchin monkeys can be identified by marks left on their tools

Scientists who study capuchin monkeys on a nature reserve in Brazil found that stone tools are used for digging, seed pounding, and stone-on-stone percussion. The monkeys can serve as a model to help understand how humans evolved to use tools.


Over 80% of Atlantic Rainforest remnants have been impacted by human activity
SDG 13, SDG 15
Over 80% of Atlantic Rainforest remnants have been impacted by human activity

Researchers at the University of São Paulo estimated biodiversity and biomass losses in the biome using data from 1,819 forest inventories. In terms of carbon storage, the losses correspond to the destruction of 70,000 km² of forest, representing some USD 2.6 billion in carbon credits.


Large mammals make soil more fertile in tropical forests
SDG 15
Large mammals make soil more fertile in tropical forests

A study conducted by scientists at São Paulo State University demonstrates that animals like peccaries and tapirs boost soil levels of nitrogen, an essential element to plant growth.


Novel method identifies areas most suitable for conservation of black lion tamarin
SDG 15
Novel method identifies areas most suitable for conservation of black lion tamarin

The researchers used modeling to show which areas are suitable in terms of forest cover and climate for occupation by the endangered species, which is endemic to the state of São Paulo. Their study is a contribution to translocation initiatives that move groups of these animals to areas from which the species has disappeared.


Enhanced scorpion venom molecules can be used to treat Chagas disease
SDG 3, SDG 15
Enhanced scorpion venom molecules can be used to treat Chagas disease

Brazilian researchers tested the antichagasic properties of VmCT1, obtained from the venom of Vaejovis mexicanus, a scorpion harmless to humans, and synthesized novel analogs to redesign the native molecule.


Caterpillars mimic leaves or offer rewards for protection by ants
SDG 15
Caterpillars mimic leaves or offer rewards for protection by ants

Study reveals different forms of interaction between insect groups: while some caterpillar species have bodies covered with molecules identical to those of the plants they inhabit and are ‘invisible’ to ants, others offer ants nectar in exchange for protection from predators.


In the Cerrado, topography explains the genetic diversity of amphibians more than land cover
SDG 15
In the Cerrado, topography explains the genetic diversity of amphibians more than land cover

Study shows that a tree frog endemic to a mountainous region of the Brazilian savanna is unable to disperse and find genetically closer mates when the terrain is rugged, potentially endangering survival of the species. The findings show that topography is an important factor for conservation policy.


News about research projects funded by FAPESP and articulated with the SDGs: