Giselda Durigan

Giselda Durigan
Instituto de Pesquisas Ambientais - Governo do Estado de São Paulo

Doctor of Philosophy

About

211
Publications
127,043
Reads
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8,504
Citations
Citations since 2017
83 Research Items
6526 Citations
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Introduction
I am an ecologist working on tropical grasslands, savannas and forests. My researches have been mostly about ecological applications aiming at conservation and restoration of those ecosystems. That includes fire ecology and management, ecology and control of plant invasions, drivers of changes in structure and composition of plant communities, hydrological processes related to vegetation, adaptive management of ecosystems undergoing restoration, and restoration ecology. Recently, tropical grasslands have been my major interest, because I believe they are the most threatened and poorly known among the tropical ecosystems.
Additional affiliations
March 2014 - present
University of Campinas
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
March 2010 - present
São Paulo State University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
January 1999 - December 2012
University of São Paulo
Position
  • Professor
Education
March 1976 - December 1979
Escola Superior de Agricultura "Luiz de Queiroz"
Field of study
  • Forestry engineering

Publications

Publications (211)
Article
1. Ecological restoration of tropical open ecosystems remains challenging for both science and practice. Over the last decade, innovative techniques have been developed, but whether they have been successful or not remains to be demonstrated. Assessing the outcomes of these initiatives is crucial to drive the following steps to improve tropical gra...
Article
Ants represent one of the most diverse and ecologically important group of insects in tropical ecosystems, including in highly threatened ones such as the Brazilian Cerrado. Yet, a detailed understanding of the species diversity and composition of local Cerrado ant assemblages is lacking in many cases. Here we present the results of a comprehensive...
Article
Full-text available
Frost effects on savanna plant communities have been considered as analogous to those from fire, both changing community structure and filtering species composition. However, while frost impacts have been well-studied for the woody component of savannas, it is still poorly explored for the ground-layer community. Here, we investigated effects of fr...
Article
Full-text available
Cartas da rede hidrográfica elaboradas por instituições governamentais têm sido utilizadas para delimitação de Áreas de Preservação Permanente (APPs) no Brasil, mas são frequentes os problemas decorrentes de discrepâncias entre essas cartas e a verdade terrestre. Para caracterizar e quantificar essas discrepâncias, quer sejam metodológicas ou decor...
Article
We introduce the concept of Biome Awareness Disparity (BAD)-defined as a failure to appreciate the significance of all biomes in conservation and restoration policy-and quantify disparities in (i) attention and interest, (ii) action, and (iii) knowledge amongst biomes in tropical restoration science, practice, and policy. By analysing 50,000 tweet...
Article
Full-text available
Wetlands are ecosystems at the interface between terrestrial and aquatic environments, subject to flooding by shallow waters or with temporarily to permanently waterlogged soils and specialized biota. Despite their great importance at global and local scales, these ecosystems have not been effectively protected in Brazil. The Cerrado wetlands are p...
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
Although livestock have been historically associated with land conversion and biodiversity loss, well‐managed cattle grazing has been reported to contribute to conservation of open ecosystems. Knowing the balance between positive and negative effects of livestock (presence or exclusion) on different ecosystems is, therefore, crucial to support mana...
Article
Forest encroachment into savannas is a widespread phenomenon, the rate of which may depend on soil conditions, species composition, or changes in stand structure. As savanna specialist trees are replaced by generalist species, rates of stand development may increase. Because generalists can persist in forests, they are likely to grow more quickly a...
Preprint
Full-text available
Although savanna woody encroachment has become a global phenomenon, few studies have simultaneously evaluated its effects on multiple dimensions and levels of savanna biodiversity. We evaluated how the progressive increase in tree cover in a fire-suppressed savanna landscape affects the taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic diversity of neotropic...
Article
Seed dispersal and predation by animals often drive plant regeneration. In tropical savannas, such as the Cerrado of Brazil, fire is also a key process in ecosystem dynamics, consuming the lower vegetation strata and killing wildlife, but how fire affects seed-animal interactions is virtually unknown. We investigated the effects of prescribed fires...
Article
When an ecosystem undergoing restoration does not follow the desired trajectory, management interventions may be warranted. Where the initial steps towards restoration include tree planting at high densities, reduction of stand basal area (BA) by overstory thinning is a potential adaptive management tool to stimulate natural regeneration, although...
Article
Full-text available
Fire is a fundamental ecological factor in savannas because it affects vegetation dynamics and ecosystem functioning. However, the effects of fire on belowground compartments, including biomass and root traits, and their regeneration remain poorly understood. In this study, we assess the variation of above‐ and belowground plant components along fi...
Article
Full-text available
Grasslands are under severe threat from ongoing degradation, undermining their capacity to support biodiversity, ecosystem services and human well-being. Yet, grasslands are largely ignored in sustainable development agendas. In this Perspective, we examine the current state of global grasslands and explore the extent and dominant drivers of their...
Article
Ecological restoration interventions, in most cases, aim to restore habitat structure and plant community composition, thus re-establishing ecosystem functioning as similar as possible to that of the pre-existing natural ecosystem. However, given the difficulty of cultivating many species, that goal seems unattainable, unless “if you build it, they...
Article
Full-text available
Fulltext at: https://besjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/1365-2664.13994 1. Woody encroachment into grassy biomes is a global phenomenon, often resulting in a nearly complete turnover of species, with savanna specialists being replaced by forest‐adapted species. Understanding the mechanisms involved in this change is important fo...
Article
The Cerrado is the most diverse tropical savanna in the world. As a fire-prone ecosystem, natural fire in the Cerrado shapes plant communities and drives evolutionary processes. Human activities and landscape management can alter natural fire regimes and reshape Cerrado dynamics, making biodiversity conservation a challenge, particularly in densely...
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
Under fire suppression, many tropical savannas transform into forests. Forest expansion entails changes in environmental variables and plant community structure. We hypothesized that forest expansion into savanna results in a shift in community‐weighted mean functional traits from stress tolerance to competitiveness, with generalist species having...
Article
Planting tree monocultures in Brazilian savannas is a common practice for wood production. However, afforestation and fire suppression have caused significant ecological changes and biodiversity loss in the Cerrado region. Restoring these modified systems to their pre-plantation states remains a considerable challenge. In this study, we compared th...
Article
Planting native trees in high diversity has been widely recommended to recover tropical forests to regain ecosystems that are taxonomically and functionally similar to the native forests. However, whether planting mixed stands would provide better results than planting pure stands remains to be demonstrated. Aiming to support seasonal tropical fore...
Article
Full-text available
Open grassy vegetation and forests share riparian zones across the Neotropical savannas, characterizing alternative stable states. However, factors determining the occurrence and maintenance of each vegetation type are yet to be elucidated. To disentangle the role of environmental factors (soil properties and groundwater depth) constraining tree co...
Article
Although cerrado trees have evolved with fire for millions of years, it is not well-understood which tree attributes are more important to survive fire in the Brazilian savanna. To address this issue, we used pre- and post-fire data on 367 cerrado trees (113 native species) planted in an arboretum in south-east Brazil and then left unburnt until 20...
Article
Aim. In savannas, a grass dominated ground layer is key to ecosystem function via grass-fire feedbacks that maintain open ecosystems. With woody encroachment, tree density increases, thereby decreasing light in the ground layer and potentially altering ecosystem function. We investigated how light availability can filter individual grass species di...
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...
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
Afforestation and fire exclusion are pervasive threats to tropical savannas. In Brazil, laws limiting prescribed burning hinder the study of fire in the restoration of Cerrado plant communities. We took advantage of a 2017 wildfire to evaluate the potential for tree cutting and fire to promote the passive restoration of savanna herbaceous plant com...
Article
1. Disentangling species strategies that confer resilience to natural disturbances is key to conserving and restoring savanna ecosystems. Fire is a recurrent disturbance in savannas, and savanna vegetation is highly adapted to and often dependent on fire. However, although the woody component of tropical savannas is well studied, we still do not un...
Article
Invasion by exotic grasses is a severe threat to neotropical grasslands conservation and a major challenge for their restoration. To restore fire prone cerrado grasslands in southeastern Brazil, which have been massively invaded by the African grass Urochloa decumbens , we tested prescribed fire, herbicides and hoeing, by themselves or in different...
Article
Full-text available
Vegetation‐fire feedbacks are important for determining the distribution of forest and savanna. To understand how vegetation structure controls these feedbacks, we quantified flammability across gradients of tree density from grassland to forest in the Brazilian Cerrado. We experimentally burned 102 plots, for which we measured vegetation structure...
Article
Full-text available
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
Fire has been a natural force modulating the vegetation of the Brazilian Cerrado since long before the first humans arrived in this region about 12 thousand years BP. Cerrado plants are, therefore, adapted to fire and some of them depend on fire to maintain their reproduction and survival. However, after the use of fire as a tool to destroy vast ex...
Book
Full-text available
O manual reúne resultados de pesquisas do Instituto Florestal em parceria com outras instituição visando diagnosticar e compreender os processos de invasão de Pinus spp. e buscar soluções para o problema por meio de experimentação de técnicas de controle da invasão e restauração dos ecossistemas por ela prejudicados.
Article
Question We aimed to evaluate the performance of native tree species in the restoration of savanna vegetation by direct seeding, to assess whether weed control and intercropping with native grasses can contribute to the success of this method and to determine whether species performance can be explained by functional traits. Location Cerrado biome...
Article
Full-text available
Though they comprise 1 % of plant species on the planet, plant parasites are poorly known. They have been considered a threat to cultivated plants and to the conservation of host species in natural areas. Due to the complex interactions they have with their hosts, understanding their biology is fundamental to the development of conservation strateg...
Article
Full-text available
Full text available under request or at https://rdcu.be/bRKK2 Despite advances in understanding the ecology and consequences of pine invasions, information on the patterns of structure, dynamics, and growth needed to manage these invasive populations are still poorly known. Here we used tree ring analysis to elucidate growth dynamics, age distribu...
Article
Full-text available
Although savannas are fire-adapted ecosystems, prescribing fire for biodiversity conservation remains controversial at least in some regions where savannas occur. Faced with uncertainty, many decision makers and even scientists are still reluctant to prescribe fire for conservation purposes in fire-prone ecosystems, invoking the precautionary princ...
Article
Full-text available
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
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 sa...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change is a global phenomenon that affects biophysical systems and human well-being. The Paris Agreement of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change entered into force in 2016 with the objective of strengthening the global response to climate change by keeping global temperature rise this century well below 2 °C above pre-i...
Article
Tree planting is the most widely used technique for tropical forest restoration because it accelerates the recovery of forest structure and ecosystem functioning. Despite the importance of tree size distribution to the ecological function and habitat quality of restored forests, it has received little attention. Here we ask if the structure of refe...
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
Assessing the natural regeneration potential of degraded savannas is a crucial step in restoration planning, since that assessment will define the need for and costs of active intervention. Predicting natural regeneration, however, depends on the mechanistic understanding of ecosystem resilience. Here, we searched for the factors modulating plant c...
Article
Full-text available
Competition for soil water is one of the major processes that drive the assembly of plant communities, particularly in regions subjected to long dry seasons. The relationship between plant density and soil water competition has strong, but poorly understood, practical implications for population dynamics, restoration and conservation. We planted se...
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
A balanced and healthy diet entails the consumption of fruits since they are an important source of phytochemicals rich in vitamins–antioxidants. Therefore, identifying new fruits which can be included in the human diet is necessary. Miconia albicans (Sw.) Triana is a tall shrub native to the Brazilian savanna (“Cerrado”) that has not been consumed...
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...
Article
Given that land‐use change is the main cause of global biodiversity decline, there is widespread interest in adopting land‐use practices that maintain high levels of biodiversity, and in restoring degraded land that previously had high biodiversity value. In this study, we use ant taxonomic and functional diversity to examine the effects of differe...
Article
Background: Fire has been reported to trigger the production of flowers and fruits in many fire-prone ecosystems around the world. However, for tropical savannas, little is known about the effects of fire on flower production at community and species scale, especially for the ground-layer. Aims: We assessed the role of fire as a trigger to short-te...
Article
Full-text available
Invasive trees can cause catastrophic reductions in diversity in invaded grasslands and savannas. Such reductions often appear to be particularly severe in the new biogeographic ranges of these invaders. We present results of a field study that examined the effect of slash pine (Pinus elliottii), native to the southeastern US, on savanna groundcove...
Article
Full-text available
Neotropical grasslands have undergone intensive degradation by land conversion or biological invasion, but their restoration is still challenging. Here, we integrated two approaches to i) assessing the resilience of pristine dry and wet cerrado grasslands after removal of plants and topsoil and ii) evaluating the effectiveness of different treatmen...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Este trabalho apresenta o período de coleta de frutos e sementes para 330 espécies nativas do Cerrado, entre arbóreas, arbustivas e herbáceas, que são recomendadas para recomposição ambiental no bioma. Essas informações estão apresentadas de duas maneiras no trabalho. A primeira em uma tabela com todas as espécies organizadas em ordem alfabetica, e...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Uma das dificuldades para a recomposição ambiental é conhecer as espécies mais indicadas para cada bioma e respectivas fitofisionomias. Este trabalho fornece uma relação de 351 espécies nativas indicadas para ações de recomposição de ambientes florestais, savânicos e campestres no bioma Cerrado. A seleção dessas espécies foi baseada em workshops co...
Article
Full-text available
1.The ability of vegetation to ameliorate or exacerbate environmental extremes can generate feedbacks that mediate the distribution of biomes. It has been suggested that feedbacks between vegetation and frost damage may be important for maintaining savanna, particularly at the edge of the tropics. 2.We quantified frost damage and air temperature ac...
Article
Full-text available
Motivation: The BioTIME database contains raw data on species identities and abundances in ecological assemblages through time. These data enable users to calculate temporal trends in biodiversity within and amongst assemblages using a broad range of metrics. BioTIME is being developed as a community-led open-source database of biodiversity time se...
Article
Full-text available
Motivation: The BioTIME database contains raw data on species identities and abundances in ecological assemblages through time. These data enable users to calculate temporal trends in biodiversity within and amongst assemblages using a broad range of metrics. BioTIME is being developed as a community-led open-source database of biodiversity time se...
Article
Full-text available
Motivation: The BioTIME database contains raw data on species identities and abundances in ecological assemblages through time. These data enable users to calculate temporal trends in biodiversity within and amongst assemblages using a broad range of metrics. BioTIME is being developed as a community led open-source database of biodiversity time se...
Article
Full-text available
Motivation: The BioTIME database contains raw data on species identities and abundances in ecological assemblages through time. These data enable users to calculate temporal trends in biodiversity within and amongst assemblages using a broad range of metrics. BioTIME is being developed as a community-led open-source database of biodiversity time se...
Article
Full-text available
Significance Identifying and explaining regional differences in tropical forest dynamics, structure, diversity, and composition are critical for anticipating region-specific responses to global environmental change. Floristic classifications are of fundamental importance for these efforts. Here we provide a global tropical forest classification tha...
Article
Full-text available
Bastin et al. (Reports, 12 May 2017, p. 635) infer forest as more globally extensive than previously estimated using tree cover data. However, their forest definition does not reflect ecosystem function or biotic composition. These structural and climatic definitions inflate forest estimates across the tropics and undermine conservation goals, lead...
Article
Active restoration strategies have been recommended to recover Neotropical savannas in abandoned lands, but no studies have investigated the trajectories and speeds of spontaneous recovery for these systems. Research into the dynamics of degraded savannas is urgently needed to guide restoration decision-making. 2.We analysed the dynamics of seconda...
Article
Identifying the factors that lead to the success of restoration projects has been a major challenge in ecological restoration. Here we ask which factors, aside from time since restoration began, drive the recovery of tree biomass, density and richness of the understory in riparian forests undergoing restoration.