Alexandra Pires

Alexandra Pires
Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro | UFRRJ · Departamento de Ciências Ambientais

DSc

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60
Publications
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1,286
Citations
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October 2006 - present
Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro
Position
  • Professor

Publications

Publications (60)
Article
Full-text available
The loss of larger frugivores alters seed dispersal. Species reintroductions have been proposed as a strategy for reversing local disperser extinctions. However, their effects on ecological processes have seldom been assessed. Howler monkeys (Alouatta guariba) have been reintroduced in Tijuca National Park, a defaunated Atlantic Forest fragment. We...
Article
Full-text available
Species reintroductions can be used as a conservation strategy to restore ecological interactions and the functionality of impoverished ecosystems. The ecological effects of reintroductions go beyond restoring pairwise interactions, because reintroductions can change how extant species are indirectly linked to each other in an ecological community....
Article
Full-text available
Granivorous rodents have been traditionally regarded as antagonistic seed predators. Agoutis (Dasyprocta spp.), however, have also been recognized as mutualistic dispersers of plants because of their role as scatter-hoarders of seeds, especially for large-seeded species. A closer look shows that such definitions are too simplistic for these Neotrop...
Chapter
Full-text available
Report on the Brown howler monkeys (Alouatta guariba) reintroduction initiative in Tijuca National Park, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The species had been extinct for decades and the reintroduction process is still in its initial stages, but it does register some indicators of success and some implementation difficulties.
Article
Fleshy fruits are an important food resource in tropical forests and attract a wide variety of animals, even in places where they are exotic. Positive interactions with the resident fauna, in turn, can favor an exotic species to become invasive by enhancing reproductive success. The jackfruit tree Artocarpus heterophyllus, native from India and Ban...
Article
Full-text available
Seed dispersal and predation are paramount for tropical plant diversity. When encountered by scatter-hoarding frugivores, seeds can be either eaten, dispersed or ignored. But even after dispersal, seed caches are still subjected to predation. Many factors are known to influence these dynamics; however, how frequently hoarders use certain patches ha...
Preprint
Full-text available
The biased loss of large and medium frugivores alters seed dispersal and plant regeneration. Species reintroductions have been proposed as a strategy to reverse the consequences of species loss. However, reintroductions effects on ecological processes are seldom accessed, which hinders the comprehension of reintroductions' potential to reestablish...
Article
Full-text available
Population models are helpful for understanding demographic trends in invasive plants and crucial in defining effective management actions. Here, we assessed the dynamics of three populations of the invasive palm Roystonea oleracea on an island in the Atlantic Forest, Brazil. We aimed to verify variations in the life cycle parameters (survival, gro...
Article
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Biodiversity loss is currently one of the most important societal concerns worldwide, and it is caused mainly by habitat loss and fragmentation, biological invasion, and climate change (Vitousek et al. 1996, Newbold et al. 2015, Bellard et al. 2016). Introduced species can have positive effects on human well‐being, especially when used for liveliho...
Article
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en The aim of animal reintroductions has mainly been species recovery; only few reintroduction initiatives focus on ecosystem restoration. Therefore, reintroduction consequences on ecological interactions are seldom assessed. We used the interaction between a reintroduced population of agoutis (Dasyprocta leporina) and a vulnerable tropical endemic...
Article
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For a non-native plant to become invasive in a new area where it was introduced it has to establish and maintain self-sustaining populations with plants that survive and reproduce at significant distance from the original point of introduction. Here, we searched for locations with the occurrence of a non-native palm and use historical attributes to...
Article
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Historically, macroecology and microecology have diverged with regard to the niche concept. A better understanding of functioning ecological systems, however, depends on an integrative approach to this concept at different spatial scales. A mixed approach, merging macro‐ and microscale by validating ecological niche modeling (ENM) with the results...
Article
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During a study to characterize the medium and large-sized mammal community of the Tijuca National Park (3953 ha; Rio de Janeiro state), we registered for the first time the naked-tailed armadillo (Cabassous sp.). From April to September 2016, 42 camera-traps were set in the area, resulting in a total effort of 4302 trap-days. From the 1434 independ...
Article
Full-text available
Rewilding has been intensely debated among conservationists and ecologists. Multiple definitions and conceptual frameworks have been proposed for rewilding programmes, but hitherto all with a focus on promoting biodiversity conservation via restoration of ecological processes. Recently, however, it has been proposed to instead focus rewilding on th...
Article
Rewilding has been an increasingly popular tool to restore plant-animal interactions and ecological processes impaired by defaunation. However, the reestablishment of such processes has seldom been assessed. We investigated the restoration of ecological interactions following the reintroduction of the brown howler monkey (Alouatta guariba) to a def...
Article
Full-text available
Agricultural matrices can lead to landscape homogenization, culminating in losses of biodiversity and ecosystem services. Agricultural management is determinant for developing conservation strategies. In this review, we discuss the influence of the agricultural matrix on biodiversity at different scales. Intensive agriculture under agrochemicals an...
Article
Trophic rewilding has been suggested as a restoration tool to restore ecological interactions and reverse defaunation and its cascading effects on ecosystem functioning. One of the ecological processes that has been jeopardized by defaunation is animal-mediated seed dispersal. Here, we propose an approach that combines joint species distribution mo...
Article
Full-text available
Domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) are one of the most common exotic species in protected areas, and their impact is an important conservation concern. This study evaluated the occurrence of domestic dogs in one of the world's largest urban forests, the Tijuca National Park (TNP; 3953 ha), the most visited Park in Brazil. From April to Septembe...
Article
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The Tinguá Biological Reserve (TBR) is the largest protected area of this category in Rio de Janeiro state. Here, for the first time, we present the historical composition of terrestrial mammals' assemblage of TBR region. An inventory was conducted using transect surveys, nonstandard transects, survey of museum specimens and informal reports. Consi...
Article
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The loss or reduction of animal populations and consequent extinction of ecological interactions in Neotropical forests demand urgent conservation initiatives to reverse these trends. One of the rainforests with the highest levels of mammal defaunation is the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Local mammalian extinctions in the biome were evaluated to set...
Poster
Full-text available
Áreas protegidas são essenciais na conservação da biodiversidade. No entanto, sofrem com a presença de fatores de ameaça antropogênicos, como ruas e estradas passando em seu interior, turismo muito intenso, alterações próximas à borda e pressão de caça. Mamíferos de médio e grande porte têm grande importância ecológica e são especialmente afetados...
Data
Genes et al. 2 Credit of ecological interactions: a new conceptual framework to support 3 conservation in a defaunated world 4 5 Appendix 1-modelling procedures. 6 7 The population expansion is represented by the increase of square areas within a 8 square virtual landscape (Fig. A1.A). We chose a square growth representation in 9 order to cover ent...
Article
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As defaunation spreads through the world, there is an urgent need for restoring ecological interactions, thus assuring ecosystem processes. Here, we define the new concept of credit of ecological interactions, as the number of interactions that can be restored in a focal area by species colonization or reintroduction. We also define rewiring time,...
Article
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We report the type and pattern of use of resting sites used by 14 radio-tracked opossums. Philander frenatus rested in natural structures but also on spherical structures of dry leaves, probably built by them. Caluromys philander and Marmosa paraguayana rested at forest canopy preventing nest type identification. More than half of the resting site...
Article
Full-text available
The common marmoset, originally from Northeastern Brazil, has been introduced into several Brazilian states as a result of illegal traffic. Despite the long history of introduction, few studies have described the diet of this primate in regions where it is exotic and none have evaluated its role as a seed disperser. The importance of fruits in the...
Article
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Defaunation has a major driver of biodiversity loss in tropical forests. Here we discuss how to reverse defaunation by re-introducing key species in defaunated or restored forests.
Article
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Aims Knowledge of species richness is of prime importance to both basic and applied aspects of ecological studies. However, quantifying plant species richness in the tropics is potentially time-consuming because of high species diversity. Plant species richness estimates are also frequently biased, because many rare species are not detected. To add...
Article
Full-text available
Spatial pattern of the palm Astrocaryum aculeatissimum was investigated in an urban Atlantic Forest fragment (Tijuca National Park, Brazil) where its main seed disperser, the red-rumped agouti Dasyprocta leporina, is locally extinct. A 120 × 130 m plot (1.56 ha) was established in which all A. aculeatissimum individuals were quantified, georeferenc...
Article
Full-text available
Normally, the Phyllostomidae bat community varies in number of individuals depending on food availability, which in turn varies with changes in annual rainfall. The aims of this study were to list species of Phyllostomidae bats in Curió Municipal Natural Park located in the municipality of Paracambi, state of Rio de Janeiro, southeastern Brazil, an...
Article
Full-text available
Reintroduction is an increasingly important tool to restore local extinctions and ecological interactions. Evaluating the success of reintroduction projects allows conservationists to learn from previous experience. Here we report on the reintroduction of agoutis, Dasyprocta leporina, to a Brazilian Atlantic Forest reserve in order to (1) determine...
Article
Full-text available
Resumo: Cerdocyon thous é um carnívoro onívoro, que frequentemente utiliza frutos em sua dieta. Neste estudo é feito o primeiro registro do consumo de jaca (Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam.), uma espécie exótica e invasora no Brasil, por esse animal. As observações foram realizadas no Parque Nacional da Tijuca (PNT), Rio de Janeiro, através do uso de...
Article
Full-text available
Mamíferos de médio e grande porte desempenham funções importantes para a manutenção dos ecossistemas. Porém, esse grupo é um dos mais vulneráveis a extinções locais, seja pela perda de hábitat ou pela caça. Neste estudo foi inventariada a comunidade de médios e grandes mamíferos na Reserva Ecológica de Guapiaçú (REGUA), Cachoeiras de Macacu, RJ, se...
Article
Full-text available
Trapping methods can strongly influence the sampling of mammal communities. This study compared the efficiency of the capture of small mammals in Sherman traps in two positions (at ground level and in trees) and pitfall traps in a fragmented landscape. Trapping sessions were carried out between October 2008 and October 2009 at two fragments (8 and...
Article
Full-text available
The consumption of the carrion of a tapiti by a reintroduced female Dasyprocta leporina was observed in the wild. Herein, besides describing this event, we reviewed other evidence of vertebrate consumption by agoutis. Most of the studies describing this behaviour have been carried out in captivity. The preyed animals included birds and small rodent...
Article
Full-text available
Here, we investigated the population structure of the exotic palm Roystonea oleracea in a swamp on an island within the Atlantic Forest Biome, evaluating its influence on the seedling recruitment of other plant species. The population structure was analyzed in six 4 × 30 m plots, within which we categorized all individuals by ontogenetic stage. The...
Research
Full-text available
22 | ciÊnciahoje | 304 | vOL. 51 ciÊnciahoje | 304 | junhO 2013 | 23 E C O L O G I A Alguns dos maiores problemas ambientais da atualidade são as extinções, sejam de espécies ou populações, e a conse-quente perda de interações ecológicas. Para diminuir os impactos do desaparecimento de populações de animais em áreas específi cas, a reintrodução vem...
Article
Full-text available
Reintroduction has been recognized as a powerful conservation tool, but in order to ensure its success, animal monitoring is highly recommended. One way to monitor released animals is to put radiotelemetry collars on them. These devices, however, can harm the subjects, causing serious wounds. Our objectives in this work were to describe the injurie...
Article
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present adress: Departamento de Ciências Am-bientais, Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro, Rodovia BR 465, Km 07, Seropédica, RJ 23890-000, Brasil [Correspondence: <aspires@ufrrj.br>]. ABSTRACT: Some large-seeded plants depend heavily on agoutis for seedling recruitment. The importance of Dasyprocta leporina as seed disperser of the Atlant...
Article
Full-text available
Palms are important components of tropical forest plant communities, due both to their abundance (Henderson et al. 2000) and to the network of interactions with their pollinators and dispersers (Henderson 2002, Zona & Henderson 1989). Forest fragmentation alters the biotic and abiotic conditions of habitats (Ewers & Didham 2006, Fahrig 2003) and it...
Article
Full-text available
Large-seeded plants are especially vulnerable to the loss of seed dispersers in small forest fragments. The palm Attalea humilis goes against this trend by reaching high abundances in small remnants. Productivity, seed dispersal and seed predation of A. humilis were investigated in two large (2400 and 3500 ha) and three small (19, 26 and 57 ha) Atl...
Article
Because most invertebrate seed predators are host-specific, they are usually expected to produce Janzen–Connell patterns. This expectation was fulfilled for Astrocaryum but not for Allagoptera, depending on the effects of bruchine and scolytine predators on the seeds of these palms. Thus, the mere existence of invertebrate predation is not sufficie...
Article
The spatial patterns presented by the rodent Necromys lasiurus were studied through capture-mark-recapture in a grassland among Atlantic Coastal Forest fragments in Southeastern Brazil. Males moved farther than females. Males moved similar distances in the dry and wet seasons, whereas females moved significantly longer distances in the dry season....
Article
Full-text available
The unusual development of branches along the stem of Euterpe edulis is described for the first time. Branches originated at 2 to 190 cm from the ground. Ramified individuals and branches were able to produce reproductive structures and some branches produced roots. A plausible cause for the observed anomaly could be genetic problems due to small p...
Article
Full-text available
RESUMO A fragmentação florestal e a caça criam as chamadas "florestas vazias", onde extinções ecológicas de grandes vertebrados resultam na perda de interações entre animais e plantas como a dispersão e a predação de sementes. Alterações nesses processos afetam o recrutamento das plântulas e, consequentemente, a abundância e diversidade das plantas...
Article
Full-text available
About 45 palm species occur in the Atlantic forest of Brazil, and most of them are affected by loss of seed dispersers resulting from forest fragmentation and hunting. Here we report the effects of habitat loss and defaunation on the seed dispersal system of an endemic palm, Astrocaryum aculeatissimum . We evaluated seed removal, insect and rodent...
Article
Full-text available
The spatial distribution of small mammals in relation to distance from forest edges, before and after fire, was studied in Atlantic Forest fragments in Brazil. None of nine species was captured exclusively on either edges or forest interior. Before the fire only the rodents Akodon cursor and Oecomys con-color were captured more often at the edge th...
Chapter
Full-text available
Fragmentos maiores tendem a abrigar um maior número de espé-cies, porém esta relação é mais clara quando se considera uma ampla variação de tamanho, por exemplo, fragmentos de 10 a 1.000.000 ha. Quando a variação não é tão grande, a relação positiva entre o número de espécies e o tamanho da área não aparece, ou não é tão evidente, não só para mamíf...
Article
Full-text available
Rates of interfragment movements were estimated for small mammals inhabiting a group of eight Atlantic Coastal Forest fragments, surrounded by grassland matrix, in order to understand the degree to which each species' population was isolated. Didelphis aurita showed the greatest movement rate (19.4% of recaptures showing interfragment movements), f...
Article
Full-text available
The spatial patterns presented by the marsupial Micoureusdemerarae were studied through capturerecapture in two small Atlantic Forest fragments (areas 7.1 and 8.8 ha). The study took place from March 1995 to August 1997. Considering all captures of each individual, males did not have larger home ranges within the fragments than did females. A negat...

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Projects (3)
Project
Almost half of the world's regions with exotic plants are island environments. Studies in such environments are urgent to detect these species and to apply management interventions. The aim of this study is to evaluate the invasion stage of an exotic palm tree Roystonea oleracea on an Atlantic Forest Island and contribute to the management of this species in the area. More specifically, we intend to (i) identify sites of the palm tree on the Island, and and wich ones should be priorities for the management; (ii) identify interactions between native fauna and palm fruits, and how these interactions contribute to the expansion or retraction of the palm on the Island; (iii) to study the population dynamics of the palm tree, evaluating which life cycle parameters of the species have major influences on the population growth rate, and would be priority targets for management actions.
Project
The Refauna project intends to restore ecological interactions that were lost in defaunated forests by reintroducing medium and large mammals in the Atlantic forest fragments of Rio de Janeiro, southeastern Brazil. We have started in 2010 by reintroducing the red-humped agouti Dasyprocta leporina in Tijuca National Park. In 2015 we have released the first group of brown howler monkeys Alouatta guariba in the same location. This year we intend to reintroduce the first couple of lowland tapirs in the Ecological Reserve of Guapiaçu.