Gerhard E. Overbeck

Gerhard E. Overbeck
Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul | UFRGS · Departamento de Botânica

Doktor der Naturwisschaften (Dr. rer. nat.)

About

209
Publications
125,233
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Introduction
I am a Vegetation Ecologist at the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), in Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil. My principal working focus is on the subtropical 'Campos Sulinos' grasslands, i.e. South Brazilian grasslands, with some research activities in other systems as well. My working group is interested both in a better understanding of ecological processes in these systems (i.e., diversity patterns and drivers; interactions between trophic levels; effects of management) and in improving our knowledge and experiences in conservation and - increasingly important - restoration of these unique grassland systems. I also have experience in environmental planning. I teach in the Graduate Programs in Botany and in Ecology at UFRGS.

Publications

Publications (209)
Article
Full-text available
We sought to understand the role that water availability (expressed as an aridity index) plays in determining regional and global patterns of richness and evenness, and in turn how these water availability-diversity relationships may result in different richness-evenness relationships at regional and global scales. We examined relationships between...
Article
Full-text available
Aim: Understanding the variation in community composition and species abundances (i.e., β-diversity) is at the heart of community ecology. A common approach to examine β-diversity is to evaluate directional variation in community composition by measuring the decay in the similarity among pairs of communities along spatial or environmental distance...
Article
In Brazil, the country with the highest plant species richness in the world, biodiverse savannas and grasslands – i.e., grassy ecosystems, which occupy 27% of the country – have historically been neglected in conservation and scientific treatments. Reasons for this neglect include misconceptions about the characteristics and dynamics of these ecosy...
Article
Aim Identify environmental and anthropogenic drivers of alpha‐ and beta‐diversity for native and alien plant species. Río de la Plata grasslands, South America (Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay; ‐27.3/‐39.1 latitude, ‐50.1/‐66.5 longitude). Methods We assembled a dataset of 597 vegetation plots distributed across the Río de la Plata grasslands. To a...
Article
Full-text available
Small-scale biotic and abiotic variables can influence species composition at a given location, and environmental heterogeneity across sites can lead to the development of vegetation mosaics. Understanding how plant communities are influenced by these variables is fundamental to devise adequate management strategies for biodiversity conservation an...
Article
The South Brazilian grasslands (Campos Sulinos) form the dominant vegetation in southern Brazil. They are species-rich ecosystems that occur under distinct geomorphological and climatic conditions but spatial variation of plant species diversity remains understudied. Here, we present a detailed description of plant communities across the region. Ou...
Article
Grazing is an important disturbance for maintenance of structure and functioning of the plant communities in grassy ecosystems. Functional characteristics of plants, which are responsible for response to grazing, vary at inter‐ and intraspecific levels. Here, we assessed: (1) the extent of intraspecific trait variation when compared to interspecifi...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Material produzido para divulgar a importância da restauração ecológica nos ecossistemas campestres do sul do Brasil
Article
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We highlight the importance of the South Brazilian grasslands and the Araucaria Forest formations located in the Pampa and Atlantic Forest Biomes and their associated coastal and estuarine environments for the conservation of biodiversity, carbon storage and maintenance of significant ecosystem services. We reinforce the need to strengthen research...
Article
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As formações ecológicas abertas, também chamadas de formações não-florestais, são dotadas de elevada biodiversidade e, apesar de possuírem elevado potencial para utilizações econômicas sustentáveis, estão negligenciadas nas políticas públicas de conservação e preservação no Brasil. Objetivando fomentar uma percepção holística do atual cenário da fo...
Article
Fires are widespread disturbance events with many implications for different aspects of plant persistence and vegetation properties. Changing fire regimes canprofoundly affect vegetation dynamics and ecosystem properties. Recent steep increases in the frequency of fires worldwide and the occurrence of megafires have caught the attention of scientis...
Article
Understanding how land use and management practices affect biodiversity is essential for developing effective restoration and conservation strategies. Here, we used ant communities to evaluate the effects of historical land uses (former agriculture or tree plantation) and current management (grazing, burning, mowing, and fertilizing) in subtropical...
Poster
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O Plano Nacional de Recuperação da Vegetação Nativa (Planaveg) fixa meta de recuperação de 300.000 hectares no bioma Pampa. Contudo, mesmo com a criação do PRA na Lei n⁰ 12.651/2012 e regulamentação de diretrizes nacionais no Decreto n⁰ 8.235/2014, até o momento o programa não foi iniciado no Estado do Rio Grande do Sul. Sabidamente este significat...
Article
Fire is widely used by farmers in Brazil during the winter, or the dry season, to remove accumulated dead pasture biomass. These practices have substantial impacts on vegetation, soil nutrients and carbon emissions. However, they are rarely represented within process-based fire models embedded within Dynamic Global Vegetation Models (DGVM). We deve...
Article
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Assessing biodiversity status and trends in plant communities is critical for understanding, quantifying and predicting the effects of global change on ecosystems. Vegetation plots record the occurrence or abundance of all plant species co‐occurring within delimited local areas. This allows species absences to be inferred, information seldom provid...
Article
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O Brasil tem vivenciado incêndios sem precedentes na última década. Imagens de imensas áreas queimadas ou animais mortos que não conseguiram escapar dos incêndios em 2020 chocaram o mundo. Para prevenir ou minimizar desastres similares no futuro nós devemos compreender os fatores que levaram a esses eventos catastróficos. As causas e consequências...
Article
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Brazil has experienced unprecedented wildfires in the last decade. Images of immense burnt areas or deadanimals that failed to escape the 2020 wildfires have shocked the world. To prevent or minimize furthersimilar disasters we must understand the factors that have led to these catastrophic events. The causes andconsequences of wildfires entail com...
Article
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Resumo: O Refúgio de Vida Silvestre Banhado dos Pachecos localiza-se sobre a Coxilha das Lombas, Viamão/RS, e encontra-se em processo de invasão biológica por gramíneas exóticas na área de campo seco. Este fragmento de vegetação campestre sobre paleodunas é habitat da espécie endêmica Ctenomys lami (Rodentia, Ctenomydae) e apresenta composição flor...
Article
Currently, only 40% of Brazil’s Pampa still is covered by original vegetation; however, there is a clear underrepresentation of regional biodiversity in protected areas (PA). Herein, we assessed the extent to which 13 PAs for the Integral Protection in the Brazilian Pampa are effective in conserving samples of the natural attributes and biodiversit...
Article
Seed dispersal influences plant community dynamics and regeneration. Zoochory by cattle is a particularly important type of dispersal in grasslands, but still poorly understood in subtropical grasslands. We studied endozoochory in a native grassland area with different grazing intensities, defined by distinct forage allowance levels. On one day in...
Article
Differently from commonly used forest conservation strategies, the absence of disturbance in non-forest-ecosystems can result in loss of biodiversity. Grassy ecosystems characterize extensive areas in all biomes in Brazil, offering great contribution to biological diversity and providing ecosystem services on which society depends. Palaeoecological...
Article
Knowledge of the costs involved to implement a restoration project is imperative to most cost-effectively allocate restoration funds, aid the prioritization of efforts, minimize waste, and conceive realistic objectives. When integrated with information regarding ecological and other socioeconomic indicators, consistent and complete cost-reporting n...
Article
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As espécies nativas vegetais no Estado do Rio Grande do Sul (RS) estão cada vez mais isoladas em fragmentos devido especialmente à conversão dos ecossistemas naturais, pelo uso de agrotóxicos e, ainda, ameaçadas pela possibilidade de erosão genética. A conservação pelo uso pode ser uma alternativa para garantir a perpetuação destas espécies, inclui...
Article
Full-text available
The Program for Biodiversity Research (PPBio) is an innovative program designed to integrate all biodiversity research stakeholders. Operating since 2004, it has installed long-term ecological research sites throughout Brazil and its logic has been applied in some other southern-hemisphere countries. The program supports all aspects of research nec...
Preprint
Full-text available
Understanding the variation in community composition and species abundances, i.e., β-diversity, is at the heart of community ecology. A common approach to examine β-diversity is to evaluate directional turnover in community composition by measuring the decay in the similarity among pairs of communities along spatial or environmental distances. We p...
Article
Conservation biology is designed to identify pressing environmental problems and to solve them. This review evaluates the relative effort of conservation biology in problem-based and solution-based research, and tests whether or not this has changed in the past decades for five major drivers of biodiversity loss, i.e. habitat loss and fragmentation...
Article
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The ideal free distribution theory predicts that mobile species distribute themselves among habitat patches so as to optimize their fitness. Changes in land use alter the quality of habitat patches and thereby affect the distribution of species. Following the loss of native habitat, habitat specialists are expected to move to patches where native h...
Article
Full-text available
The Program for Biodiversity Research (PPBio) is an innovative program designed to integrate all biodiversity research stakeholders. Operating since 2004, it has installed long-term ecological research sites throughout Brazil and its logic has been applied in some other southern-hemisphere countries. The program supports all aspects of research nec...
Article
We evaluated whether phytotoxic effects of the essential oil from Eucalyptus saligna Sm. leaf litter were related to its major compounds 1,8-cineole (eucalyptol) and a-pinene. Effects of the essential oil and its major compounds, combined and alone, were tested on germination and growth of the weed Eragrostis plana Ness. Volatile organic compounds...
Article
Full-text available
Despite growing recognition of the conservation value of grassy biomes, our understanding of how to restore biodiverse tropical and subtropical grassy biomes (grasslands and savannas; TGB) remains limited. Several tools have recently been identified for TGB restoration including prescribed fires, appropriate management of livestock and wild herbivo...
Chapter
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Seguranças alimentar, hídrica e energética; rendas e modo de vida; saúde; dimensão imaterial da qualidade de vida; identidade e continuidade cultural; contribuição dos povos indígenas e de comunidades tradicionais para a agrobiodiversidade e o delineamento de paisagens no território brasileiro; e biocapacidade e pegada ecológica.
Technical Report
Full-text available
Translation of the original article "Myth-busting tropical grassy biome restoration” published in Restoration Ecology Tradução do artigo original “Myth-busting tropical grassy biome restoration” publicado na Restoration Ecology que pode ser acessado aqui (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/rec.13202?af=R). Em caso de citação, deve-se...
Article
We aimed to evaluate the bioherbicide potential of Eucalyptus saligna leaf litter essential oil, its fractions and major compounds. Six essential oil fractions were obtained by preparative thin‐layer chromatography and analyzed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Effects of the oil, its fractions and major compounds (1,8‐cineole and/or α‐pinen...
Article
Full-text available
Grazing is an important determinant for the composition and structure of grasslands; however, soil seed bank (SSB) response to grazing intensity is poorly investigated. We analyzed SSB richness and density in a subtropical grassland in southern Brazil with different forage offers (low, intermediate, high and very high), that is, contrasting grazing...
Article
In the recent past, wildfires have received much attention both by science and by the media, especially in relation to deforestation, degradation and climate change and when affecting fire-sensitive ecosystems. On the other hand, fire is a natural process in many ecosystems, in particular those to be considered fire-dependent; here, maintaining nat...
Article
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The historical focus in research and policy on forest restoration and temperate ecosystems has created misunderstandings for the restoration of tropical and subtropical old-growth grassy biomes (TOGGB). Such misconceptions have detrimental consequences for biodiversity, ecosystem services and human livelihoods in woodlands, savannas and grasslands...
Article
Full-text available
en The soil seed bank can be an important source for vegetation regeneration, and data on the similarity between aboveground vegetation and the seed bank can provide information about successional pathways after disturbances or land‐use change. We conducted this study in natural grasslands in the subtropical highland region in southern Brazil. We e...
Article
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Land-use change is the main cause of biodiversity losses, and for grasslands includes changes in management. The last 10 years has seen afforestation of traditionally grazed grasslands increase considerably in the understudied Serra do Sudeste region of the Brazilian Pampa, turning the region into a mosaic of tree plantations, natural ecosystems (p...
Article
Full-text available
Intraspecific trait variation (ITV) within natural plant communities can be large, influencing local ecological processes and dynamics. Here, we shed light on how ITV in vegetative and floral traits responds to large‐scale abiotic and biotic gradients (i.e., climate and species richness). Specifically, we tested whether associations of ITV with tem...
Article
We aimed to answer the following questions: do vegetation structure and functional characteristics of grassland types differ between hydrological periods (i.e., aquatic and terrestrial phase) in the Pantanal wetland? What general plant functional traits characterize these communities? We sampled 37 sites in three grassland types in the Cuiabá river...
Poster
Full-text available
Abstract: Grazing exclusion may lead to biodiversity loss and homogenization of species-rich and heterogeneous grassland ecosystems, and these effects may cascade to higher trophic levels and ecosystem properties. To date, there is no empirical evidence for the effects of alleviating the disturbance regime in grassland ecosystems. Using data of the...
Article
Full-text available
Plant species continue to be moved outside of their native range by human activities. Here, we aim to determine whether, once introduced, plants assimilate into native communities or whether they aggregate, thus forming mosaics of native‐ and alien‐rich communities. Alien species might aggregate in their non‐native range owing to shared habitat pre...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Tradução do artigo original “Andrade et al. 2019. Grassland vegetation sampling — a practical guide for sampling and data analysis. Acta Botanica Brasilica 33(4): 786-795” que pode ser acessado aqui (http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0102-33062019abb0160). Em caso de citação deve ser mencionado o artigo original. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -...
Article
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Grazing exclusion may lead to biodiversity loss and homogenization of naturally heterogeneous and species-rich grassland ecosystems, and these effects may cascade to higher trophic levels and ecosystem properties. Although grazing exclusion has been studied elsewhere, the consequences of alleviating the disturbance regime in grassland ecosystems re...
Article
Full-text available
Plant traits—the morphological, anatomical, physiological, biochemical and phenological characteristics of plants—determine how plants respond to environmental factors, affect other trophic levels, and influence ecosystem properties and their benefits and detriments to people. Plant trait data thus represent the basis for a vast area of research sp...
Article
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A functional perspective of tree communities is helpful for understanding forest dynamics, especially vegetation recovery after other land uses. Knowledge about ecological filters and survival strategies of trees are also important for the restoration of degraded areas. This study aimed to evaluate the functional composition and structure of adult...
Article
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Bastin et al .’s estimate (Reports, 5 July 2019, p. 76) that tree planting for climate change mitigation could sequester 205 gigatonnes of carbon is approximately five times too large. Their analysis inflated soil organic carbon gains, failed to safeguard against warming from trees at high latitudes and elevations, and considered afforestation of s...
Article
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Grassland and savanna ecosystems are the original vegetation types of more than 30% of the Brazilian territory, but conservation and training of future professionals has largely focused on forests. In fact, no standard protocols exist for sampling grassland vegetation for environmental planning or licensing. Neglecting non-forest ecosystems may hav...
Article
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Understanding how disturbances influence interaction networks is a central but still poorly explored issue in ecology and management. The goal of this study was to test how the structure of plant-pollinator networks and the structuring processes are influenced by grazing in a subtropical grassland community on the southern hemisphere. Twelve sampli...
Chapter
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Este diagnóstico é o primeiro esforço nacional no âmbito da Plataforma Intergovernamental de Biodiversidade e Serviços Ecossistêmicos (IPBES). Teve como ponto de partida o documento Diálogos1 que foi utilizado como instrumento de consulta e diálogo com diferentes atores que, em suas atividades, direta ou indiretamente afetam ou são afetados pela bi...
Article
Despite growing recognition of the conservation values of grassy biomes, our understanding of how to maintain and restore biodiverse tropical grasslands (including savannas and open‐canopy grassy woodlands) remains limited. To incorporate grasslands into large‐scale restoration efforts, we synthesised existing ecological knowledge of tropical grass...
Article
Full-text available
Subtropical Campos Sulinos grasslands, in South Brazil, are among the most biodiverse grasslands of the world. As climatic conditions lead to high productivity, disturbance are critical to maintain their diversity. Long-term exclusion, on the other hand, leads to plant species losses and changes in composition. No studies on the restoration of thes...
Article
Full-text available
Brazil's environmental legislation obliges private properties to retain a fixed proportion of their total area with native vegetation, the so-called “Legal Reserves”. Those areas represent practically one third of the country's native vegetation and are well known for their role in biodiversity protection and in the provisioning of a wide range of...
Article
We discuss aspects of one of the most important issue in ecological restoration: how to evaluate restoration success. This first requires clearly stated and justified restoration goals and targets; this may seem ‘obvious’ but in our experience, this step is often elided. Indicators or proxy variables are the typical vehicle for monitoring; these mu...
Article
Plant communities in transitional zones between ecosystem types have potentially a large range of ecological strategies, even along short gradients. Exploring these regional differences and the drivers of variation is important to understand plant adaptations and changes in ecological processes between distinct ecosystems. Here, we ask whether dist...
Article
Full-text available
Resumo A legislação ambiental brasileira requer que as propriedades privadas mantenham uma proporção de sua área coberta com vegetação nativa, as chamadas Reservas Legais. Essas áreas representam praticamente um terço da vegetação nativa do país e são reconhecidas pelo seu importante papel na proteção da biodiversidade e na provisão de uma vasta ga...
Article
Full-text available
We currently face both an extinction and a biome crisis embedded in a changing climate. Many biodiverse ecosystems are being lost at far higher rates than they are being protected or ecologically restored. At the same time, natural climate solutions offer opportunities to restore biodiversity while mitigating climate change. The Bonn Challenge is a...