How can climate change affect its potential distribution range?

April 30, 2020

Studies that characterize the effects of climatic factors on the geographic distribution of trees are essential, especially for tropical trees frequently used for wood supply, such as Mimosa tenuiflora (Willd) Poiret (jurema-preta), Fabaceae.

We asked the following questions: I) Over the years, will climate change negatively affect the occurrence of M. tenuiflora? II) Could areas with low suitability in the present become areas with high suitability in future prediction? III) Will annual rainfall be the variable with the most significant influence in determining the potential suitability of areas? Read More.

Elaeis guineensis: one of the world’s leading sources of vegetable oil

December 10, 2019

The Elaeis guineensis palm tree is popularly known as oil palm. Its economic prominence is due to its oil, that can be extracted from both the fruit (palm oil) and the nut (palm kernel oil).

Through genetic studies of forest populations, knowledge about the genetic variability and the distribution of genotypes in space have been useful for both genetic conservation and genetic improvement.

This study aimed to estimate the genetic diversity of three E. guineensis populations, as well as to verify the decreases in effective population size. The data obtained in this study will support ex-situ conservation projects for E. guineensis, contributing to the selection of genotypes and their sustainable use. Read More.

What are the genetic diversity levels across the studied fragmented Atlantic forest?

October 07, 2019

Protium is a well-known tree genus because of the production of secondary metabolites, mainly classes of terpenes. It is diverse and abundant in the Amazon basin where it can be found in up to 35 sympatric species. However, fragmentation leads to changes in the size and dynamics of forest populations.


Studies of genetic diversity support strategies for preserving the genetic resources and the data to date for the Atlantic Forest in northeast Brazil are scarce. Here, we studied the genetic diversity of natural Protium heptaphyllum populations, evaluating the genetic structure and the occurrence of population/genetic bottlenecks. Read More.

The biometric analysis of fruits and seeds as a tool to quantify the sub-estimated variability in the native tree species

August 30, 2019

The fruits of the mangabeira (Hancornia speciosa) are used mainly in the Brazilian Northeast region to supply the agroindustry sector for the production of juices, sweets, ice cream and other derivatives. The harvest brings in around $1 million per year to Brazil.


The biometry of fruits and seeds is essential to characterize the intra and interpopulational variations, allowing to infer about environmental and genetic factors that determine these divergences. Such information is relevant to support strategies for conservation, management of natural populations and genetic improvement. Read More.

The continuing fragmentation of forests has been a threat to the maintenance of genetic resources

January 31, 2019

Strategies for the maintenance of forest resources have been increasingly important due to the rapid loss of natural habitats. The remaining forests are widely fragmented and mostly located in areas of monoculture and pasture. Thus, the gene flow from the pollen exchange between populations can be altered, as well as seed dispersal.


In the north east of Brazil, real estate speculation and the establishment of monocultures such as coconut, sugar cane, extensive livestock breeding, and various extractive activities are constant threats to the genetic integrity of the natural populations of Hancornia speciosa. Efforts are needed to reconcile conservation of the genetic resource and the sustainable use of H. speciosaRead More.

Mating system of an economically important palm tree from Brazilian semiarid: the case of carnauba wax

September 22, 2017

The palm Copernicia prunifera, commonly known as carnaúba, can be used for a variety of purposes, from urban forestry to wax extraction from its leaves, the main product of the species, which is used in cosmetics, varnishes, and even for polishing fruit. 


The knowledge of the mating systems, as well as preliminary studies, such as reproductive biology, floral structures, and pollinators of a species, are essential to support taxonomy investigations, management strategies, breeding, and domestication of native species.


Thus, we found that the C. prunifera has multiple inflorescences with hermaphroditic flowers and pollen viability of 62%. Outcrossing rates at the population level produced a multilocus outcrossing rate of 0.878 (~88%), indicating that C. prunifera has a mixed mating system that is preferentially allogamous. Floral visits were also recorded by the “maribondo-caboclo” (Polistes canadensis) and by “irapuá” (Trigona spinipes).


That information helps us understand the reproduction mechanism, as well as to define management strategies for the conservation and genetic improvement of the C. prunifera palm. Read more.

Floral biology and pollinators of “candeia”

December 28, 2012

Besides the quality of its wood, the extraction of the α-bisabolol oil from the candeia (Eremanthus erythropappus - Asteraceae) for pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries gives the species a high economic value.


We studied anthesis, flower morphology, stigmatic receptivity, pollen viability and floral visitors of candeia (Eremanthus erythropappus - Asteraceae).


We observed a large percentage of viable pollen (77.25%) and relatively scarce nectar availability for floral visitors (0.63 μL). The bees Apis mellifera and Trigona sp. were the most frequent visitors. The length of the bud, style and flowers varied significantly among plants. Read more.

Habitat fragmentation and vegetation corridors

July 04, 2008

Tropical forests present very diverse terrestrial ecosystems, but much of this diversity is threatened by habitat destruction and extensive fragmentation of natural populations. Creation or preservation of landscape structures, such as vegetation corridors, has been indicated to minimize the effects of habitat fragmentation. Especially in the Neotropical region, little is known about corridor importance for plant species, and previous work on this topic was not focused on population genetic processes.

The forest remnants in the state of Minas Gerais, Southeastern Brazil, are characterized by a hilly relief covered by vegetation mosaics formed by the contact between Atlantic seasonal forests, cerrado (woody savanna) and montane grasslands. In the vegetation corridors that connect small remnants of undisturbed primary forest in the Lavras landscape (Brazil), Protium spruceanum is a representative of a mass flowering insect-pollinated and bird-dispersed tree.


Allozyme variation was quantified from five forest remnants from secondary vegetation corridors linking them to generate information for genetic conservation. Evidence of recent bottlenecks by anthropogenic disturbance was detected in fragments, but the genetic differentiation among remnants was low, and vegetation corridors have genetic identity with the fragments. Thus, our results suggest that landscape management strategies should therefore consider both the creation of new vegetation corridors and the protection of extant ones. Read more.

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