Project

Noleedi Project - Effect of fire and flood in Pantanal

Goal: We will investigate the effect of different fire and flooding regimes on richness, abundance, composition, and diversity of target communities; Moreover, we will focusing on structural development and reproductive phenology, productivity, and seed germination of plant species that are the interests of indigenous people,, as well as the effect on physical and chemical parameters of soil. The results ultimately could be integrated to produce a protocol for common use to be applied for other regions of the Pantanal, Indigenous Lands that have the same demand and other Wetlands of Brazil and worldwide. The project results will be widely disseminated through several communication actions including journalistic releases, thematic podcasts, and printed material. The target audience of these actions will include indigenous populations of the region, population of surrounding cities, public agencies linked to the environment, and population of Mato Grosso do Sul.

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Project log

Danilo Bandini Ribeiro
added a research item
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 complex interactions between the biophysical and sociocultural spheres,and suitable management decisions require a sound scientific base. We present the recent panoramaof increasing fire outbreaks in the Brazilian biomes, and discuss the causes that have contributed tosuch fires, their impacts on the environment and overall consequences for human well-being, based onreviewing the extensive specialist literature, on authors’ expert knowledge and information providedby environmental managers, researchers and politicians during a workshop organized to debate the wildfire issue in Brazil. Our up-to-date review is aimed at the academic public, environmental managersand decision- and policy-makers. First, we present evidence on the contrasting effects of fire on differentecosystems. Second, we outline the historic perceptions and policies related to fire use and managementin Brazil since its colonization to the present date. Third, we propose means to advance fire preventionand develop successful management strategies. Finally, we answer frequently asked questions to clarifyand/or demystify some fire-related issues not always properly addressed in the media.
Letícia Couto Garcia
added a research item
Smoke from wildfires worsened the situation of isolated, as well as urban communities, already under an increasing toll of COVID-19. Here we review the impacts and the possible causes of the 2020 mega-fires and recommend improvements for public policies and fire management in this wetland. We calculated the amount of area burnt annually since 2003 and describe patterns in precipitation and water level measurements of the Paraguay River. Our analyses revealed that the 2020 wildfires were historically unprecedented, as 43% of the area (over 17,200 km2) had not been burnt previously in the last two decades. The extent of area affected in 2020 represents a 376% increase compared to the annual average of the area burnt annually in the last two decades, double than the value in 2019. Potential factors responsible for this increase are (i) severe drought decreased water levels, (ii) the fire corridor was located in the Paraguay River flood zone, (iii) constraints on firefighters, (iv) insufficient fire prevention strategy and agency budget reductions, and (v) recent landscape changes. Climate and land use change will further increase the frequency of these extreme events. To make fire management more efficient and cost-effective, we recommend the implementation of an Integrated Fire Management program in the Pantanal. Stakeholders should use existing traditional, local ecological, and scientific knowledge to form a collective strategy with clear, achievable, measurable goals, considering the socio-ecological context. Permanent fire brigades, including indigenous members, should conduct year-round fire management. Communities should cooperate to create a collaborative network for wildfire prevention, the location and characteristics (including flammability) of infrastructures should be (re)planned in fire-prone environments considering and managing fire-catalysed transitions, and depending on the severity of wildfires. The 2020 wildfires were tackled in an ad-hoc fashion and prioritisation of areas for urgent financial investment, management, protection, and restoration is necessary to prevent this catastrophe from happening again.
Danilo Bandini Ribeiro
added a research item
South America’s Pantanal is recognized as one of the largest wetlands in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its ecological significance (high biodiversity). The region experiences both seasonal wet/dry periods and pluriannual cycles of wet and dry years. Vegetation changes throughout the year as well as over the long-term with fires and floods being the major factors affecting vegetation patterns. In 2020 the Pantanal experienced an extraordinary high numbers of wildfires. An overview of the region’s fire history is presented along with information on the 2020 wildfires, society’s response, lessons learned, and suggestions on where to go from here
Danilo Bandini Ribeiro
added a research item
Vulnerability to habitat fragmentation Habitat fragmentation caused by human activities has consequences for the distribution and movement of organisms. Betts et al. present a global analysis of how exposure to habitat fragmentation affects the composition of ecological communities (see the Perspective by Hargreaves). In a dataset consisting of 4489 animal species, regions that historically experienced little disturbance tended to harbor a higher proportion of species vulnerable to fragmentation. Species in more frequently disturbed regions were more resilient. High-latitude areas historically experienced more disturbance and harbor more resilient species, which suggests that extinction has removed fragmentation-sensitive species. Thus, conservation efforts to limit fragmentation are particularly important in the tropics. Science , this issue p. 1236 ; see also p. 1196
Thiago Silva Teles
added a research item
O Pantanal tanto depende como é perturbado pelos incêndios. Por isso, a pesquisa focada e a queima controlada são vitais para todos os pantaneiros: flora, fauna e pessoas.
Danilo Bandini Ribeiro
added a project goal
We will investigate the effect of different fire and flooding regimes on richness, abundance, composition, and diversity of target communities; Moreover, we will focusing on structural development and reproductive phenology, productivity, and seed germination of plant species that are the interests of indigenous people,, as well as the effect on physical and chemical parameters of soil. The results ultimately could be integrated to produce a protocol for common use to be applied for other regions of the Pantanal, Indigenous Lands that have the same demand and other Wetlands of Brazil and worldwide. The project results will be widely disseminated through several communication actions including journalistic releases, thematic podcasts, and printed material. The target audience of these actions will include indigenous populations of the region, population of surrounding cities, public agencies linked to the environment, and population of Mato Grosso do Sul.