Lucas Paolucci

Lucas Paolucci
Universidade Federal de Viçosa (UFV) | UFV · Departamento de Biologia Geral

PhD in Ecology
Professor of Ecology

About

25
Publications
13,090
Reads
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288
Citations
Introduction
I am an ecologist investigating the impacts of human disturbances on biological communities and ecosystem functions/services they perform, especially using experimental field manipulations. I work mainly with the following subjects: animal-plant interactions; biodiversity; community and ecosystem ecology; disturbance ecology; ecosystem functioning. Email: lucas.paolucci@ufv.br
Additional affiliations
January 2020 - present
Universidade Federal de Viçosa (UFV)
Position
  • Professor
January 2019 - December 2019
Universidade Federal de Lavras (UFLA)
Position
  • PostDoc Position
August 2016 - December 2018
Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM)
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
March 2012 - March 2016
March 2010 - February 2012
March 2004 - February 2010
Universidade Federal de Viçosa (UFV)
Field of study
  • Biological Science

Publications

Publications (25)
Article
Full-text available
Remnant isolation following fragmentation is considered to be one of the main drivers of ecological decline in modified landscapes. Thereby, connecting remnants using ecological corridors has been increasingly suggested as being important for conservation. Our objectives were to test isolation effects on extinction, colonization and turnover rates...
Article
Full-text available
The widespread clearing of tropical forests causes lower tree cover, drier microclimate, and higher and drier fuel loads of forest edges, increasing the risk of fire occurrence and its intensity. We used a manipulative field experiment to investigate the influence of fire and fuel loads on ant communities and their interactions with myrmecochorous...
Article
Several impacts arising from anthropogenic activities hinder ecosystem properties, but the effects of habitat area size on ecosystem functioning remain little known. We aimed to evaluate the effects of area size, and the associated abundance and species richness of collembola, oribatid mites and other arthropods on litter decomposition, phosphorus...
Article
The forests of southeastern Amazonia are highly threatened by disturbances such as fragmentation, understory fires, and extreme climatic events. Large-bodied frugivores such as the lowland tapir (Tapirus terrestris) have the potential to offset this process, supporting natural forest regeneration by dispersing a variety of seeds over long distances...
Article
Full-text available
The Amazon forest has the highest biodiversity on earth. However, information on Amazonian vertebrate diversity is still deficient and scattered across the published, peer‐reviewed and grey literature and in unpublished raw data. Camera traps are an effective non‐invasive method of surveying vertebrates, applicable to different scales of time and s...
Preprint
Full-text available
Climate emergency is a significant threat to biodiversity in the 21st century, but species will not be equally affected. In summing up different species' responses at the local scale, we can assess changes in the species quantity and composition of biotic assemblages. Here we investigated climate change driven variation in species richness and spat...
Article
Full-text available
Ants, an ecologically successful and numerically dominant group of animals, play key ecological roles as soil engineers, predators, nutrient recyclers, and regulators of plant growth and reproduction in most terrestrial ecosystems. Further, ants are widely used as bioindicators of the ecological impact of land use. We gathered information of ant sp...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives Harmful effects of habitat loss and fragmentation can be detected across multiple spatial scales, yet most studies that aim to characterize these effects take place at a single spatial scale. Here we investigated responses in ant diversity to forest fragmentation across three spatial scales. Methods We sampled ant diversity in a fragmen...
Article
Full-text available
Global initiatives to reforest degraded areas have intensified in recent years, in an attempt to reverse the environmental impacts of habitat loss on species and ecosystem provided by them. However, the effectiveness of such reforestation initiatives in re-establishing biodiversity is still poorly understood. Here, we test how reforestation type an...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding and predicting the effect of global change phenomena on biodiversity is challenging given that biodiversity data are highly multivariate, containing information from tens to hundreds of species in any given location and time. The Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) model has been recently proposed to decompose biodiversity data into lat...
Article
How much leaf area do insects eat? A data set of insect herbivory sampled globally with a standardized protocol. Ecology 102(4): Abstract. Herbivory is ubiquitous. Despite being a potential driver of plant distribution and performance, herbivory remains largely undocumented. Some early attempts have been made to review, globally, how much leaf area...
Article
Herbivory is ubiquitous. Despite being a potential driver of plant distribution and performance, herbivory remains largely undocumented. Some early attempts have been made to review, globally, how much leaf area is removed through insect feeding. Kozlov et al. (2015), in one of the most comprehensive reviews regarding global patterns of herbivory,...
Article
Riparian forests play key roles in protecting biodiversity and water resources, making them priorities for conservation in human-dominated landscapes, but fragmentation associated with expanding tropical croplands threatens their ecological integrity. We compared the structure of tropical riparian forests within intact and cropland catchments in a...
Article
Full-text available
Ontogenetic changes in herbivory are generally not consistent with ontogenetic changes in defensive traits of woody plants. This inconsistency suggests that other factors may affect ontogenetic trajectories in herbivory. We tested the hypothesis that top-down factors contribute to differences in foliar losses to insects between juvenile and mature...
Article
The Amazon forest’s main protection against fire is its capacity to create a moist understory microclimate. Roads, deforestation, droughts, and climate change have made this natural firebreak less effective. The southern Amazon, in particular, has become more flammable and vulnerable to wildfires during recent droughts. The drought of 1997/98 first...
Article
Full-text available
Myrmecochory (seed dispersal by ants) is a unique seed dispersal syndrome among invertebrates. It comprises three main phases: seed removal, seed manipulation, and seed deposition. However, the contribution of each phase to seed and seedling fate remains unclear. Here, we experimentally quantified the effects of each phase of myrmecochory on seed g...
Article
Full-text available
The strength of biotic interactions is generally thought to increase toward the equator, but support for this hypothesis is contradictory. We explored whether predator attacks on artificial prey of eight different colors vary among climates and whether this variation affects the detection of latitudinal patterns in predation. Bird attack rates nega...
Article
Full-text available
Tropical woody plants store ∼230 petagrams of carbon (PgC) in their aboveground living biomass. This review suggests that these stocks are currently growing in primary forests at rates that have decreased in recent decades. Droughts are an important mechanism in reducing forest C uptake and stocks by decreasing photosynthesis, elevating tree mortal...
Article
Full-text available
1. Seed manipulation by ants can play a key role in seed germination through two main behaviours: elaiosome detachment and seed scarification. Despite the fact that these behaviours are commonplace, their effects have only been quantified independently, and their consequences on seed germination remain controversial. 2. Here we experimentally inves...
Article
Ant gardens (AGs) are specialized ant-plant associations where arboreal ants build their carton nests in association with epiphytes that use the carton as a substrate. Most of the epiphytes are planted by ants; therefore, seed selection by ants is a key driver of the epiphyte composition of AGs. However, deterministic post-dispersal factors, such a...
Chapter
Full-text available
Insects were sampled during January 2013, during the rainy season. We chose 90 individuals of Qualea grandiflora, 30 in each phytophysiognomy: Cerradão (Forest), Cerrado Stricto Sensu (Dense Savanna) and Campo Cerrado (Field Savanna). As it is known that ant species richness and abundance may vary with tree density in Cerrado [142], we expect that...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Habitat heterogeneity is considered a major factor regulating local species richness. This relationship is claimed to be monotonic positive, as resource availability increases with heterogeneity. However, negative and null pattern are also eventually found, generating controversial conclusions on this issue. Thus, it was recently proposed that this...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we evaluated how the recovery process of litter and associated ant fauna occurs, after a total removal of the litter. For that, we designed a natural microcosms experiment in a forest remnant in Southeast Brazil, and tested four hypotheses: (I) litter weight increases with time after clearance; (II) litter-dwelling ant species richne...

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Projects

Projects (4)
Project
Several types of anthropogenic disturbances have occurred in the southern Amazon basin since the 1970s, including the conversion of natural forests into cropland and understory fires. Although riparian forests often remain standing, their surroundings are often impacted and converted, causing severe changes in the biotic and abiotic conditions of these forests. Potential consequences of these changes include loss of diversity and homogenization of terrestrial insect communities, as well as negative impacts on their ecological processes. However, the magnitude of these impacts, as well as the processes causing these impacts, is not yet known. Ants and dung beetles are ecologically dominant insects in tropical habitats, bioindicators of environmental change, and participate in key ecosystem processes such as predation, seed dispersal, soil revolving, dung dispersal and burial. In this project, we will investigate how the conversion of natural forests into monocultures structures the communities of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and dung beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) of riparian forests, and the consequences of these changes on ecosystem processes performed by these organisms. We will also investigate how biodiversity can mitigate the impacts of forest fires, which often escape from agricultural fields and reach the surrounding forests. Termites are known to have higher activity and abundance under severe drought in tropical forests, consequently increasing litter decomposition, soil moisture, soil nutrient heterogeneity and seedling survival. Burned forests have characteristics similar to drought conditions, such as high temperature, low humidity and larger canopy opening. Therefore, we will investigate if termites play a similar role in burned forests that are under natural regeneration process.
Project
Ants are considered one of the most remarkable invertebrates to disperse seeds. Seed dispersion by ants (myrmecochory) can be divided in three main phases: i) Removal; ii) Manipulation and iii) Deposition. However, all three phases have never been tested simultaneously and the contribution of each one on seed fate and seedling establishment remains unknown. In this purpose, our main aim is to determine experimentally and in field conditions the separate effect of each myrmechocory’s phase on the most critical plant stages: seed germination and seedling establishment.