Natashi Pilon

Natashi Pilon
University of Campinas | UNICAMP · Institute of Biology (IB)

PhD

About

33
Publications
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641
Citations

Publications

Publications (33)
Article
The Cerrado, the most biodiverse savanna, has been losing its natural areas through conversion to agricultural land. In the Santa Barbara Ecological Station (SBES), more than 136.4 ha of open Cerrado vegetation were converted into pine plantations in the 1960s-1970s. Nonetheless, nowadays techniques such as clear-cutting pine trees and burning of t...
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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...
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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...
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Woody plant encroachment is a reality in many savannas worldwide, leading savannas to become replaced by forest ecosystems. As tree density and cover increase, increased shade and litter deposition may suppress the savanna’s community of low‐lying plants. By using field manipulation, we tested shading and litter effects, alone and in combination, o...
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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...
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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
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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
Book
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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
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...
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Tropical savannas have been increasingly viewed as an opportunity for carbon sequestration through fire suppression and afforestation, but insufficient attention has been given to the consequences for biodiversity. To evaluate the biodiversity costs of increasing carbon sequestration, we quantified changes in ecosystem carbon stocks and the associa...
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As fitofisionomias campestres e as plantas do estrato herbáceo-arbustivo têm sido pouco estudadas em todo o mundo e, pelo seu desconhecimento, poucos esforços têm sido empreendidos em sua conservação. Visando contribuir para preencher esta lacuna, efetuamos a caracterização florística e do espectro biológico das fisionomias campo sujo e campo limpo...
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Tropical grassy biomes have been widely neglected for conservation and, after unplanned land use conversion, ecological restoration becomes urgent. The majority of interventions have been based on the misapplication of forest restoration techniques, because there are no validated techniques to restore the species-rich ground layer. In search for in...
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The transition between ontogenetic stages, from juvenile to reproductive adult, is an important moment in the life history of individuals in a plant population, since the persistence of their genes depends on it. The size of an individual is recognized as a predictor for this transition, but little is known about what determines the minimum size to...
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Few studies address the ecology of herbs of Cerrado grasslands, which are ecosystems where the long dry season, high temperatures, insolation, fire and invasive grasses greatly influencing germination and the establishment of plants. We assessed germination of 13 species of Poaceae from Cerrado grasslands under nursery conditions or in germination...
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The knowledge on the phenological patterns for a broad group of species is an important tool to elucidate the function and structure of plant communities. Aiming to describe the phenological rhythms of Cerrado species being cultivated and to verify if they follow the patterns observed in the native communities, we recorded, every two weeks along fo...
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Knowing the attributes of the most suitable species to overcome the obstacles in different environmental conditions is an important tool for ecological restoration. To evaluate the comparative performance of native Cerrado species being cultivated at an arboretum (Assis State Forest, Assis, SP, Brazil), we categorized 106 species by the following a...
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RESUMO – O cultivo de plantas nativas seja para a exploração econômica, para restauração ecológica ou qualquer outra finalidade, depende, antes de tudo, da possibilidade de propagação das espécies. A produção de mudas é o meio usual de propagação de plantas, considerando-se fundamental a germinação das sementes. Tachigali vulgaris é uma espécie arb...
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Gender and science or gender and knowledge production have been issues of much discussion around the world. In order to examine women's participation in Botanical Science and to verify if some kind of gender bias exists in knowledge production in this area, we analyzed proceedings of three botanical congresses across a period of 21 years. Over this...

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Projects

Projects (6)
Project
Unraveling the reproductive dynamics of pyrophytic ecosystems to support the management and restoration of Cerrado open ecosystems.
Project
Tropical open ecosystems have been historically misunderstood as old-fields or as a result of forest degradation. This confusion has hindered conservation and management actions, frequently leading to suppression of native vegetation in favor of productive systems or afforestation. In Brazil, there is currently no scientific literature or even protocols to guide stakeholders and scientists in diagnosing the integrity or conservation value of grasslands and savanna remnants. Similarly, there are no clear indicators to guide restoration of this ecosystems and ways to attest the effectiveness of the implemented actions. Towards filling these gaps and increasing knowledge on the flora and ecology of open Cerrado ecosystems, this research aims at: (i) to select indicators and vegetation attributes which allows us to evaluate the conservation status of these ecosystems, as well to disentangle the differences between pristine and degraded areas, and (ii) to assess the effectiveness of current restoration techniques applied in Cerrado open ecosystems to recover their floristic diversity and functioning.
Project
The Cerrado is the richest among the savannas in the world and, additionally, the most threatened. The factors that determine the composition and structure of the plant community in vegetation dominated by woody layer are relatively well known, involving complex relationships among climatic and edaphic conditions and disturbance regime. However, there is no evidence that these factors influence are equally determinant of grasslands savanna floristic composition and structure. The general aim of the research is to investigate the relative influence of factors that are shaping grasslands savannas (tree cover under 20%, in dry land), especially in search of distinct patterns of structure, diversity, floristic and functional composition, that are associated to edaphic and climatic conditions or fire history.