Master's Degree in Tropical Science at the National Institute for Amazonian Research (INPA, Brazil), under the supervision of Dr. Henrique E. M. Nascimento and Dr. Alberto Vicentini.

white-sand islands in the amazon: investigating the environmental controls on tree communities  

I aimed to depict the relative contribution of environmental variables such as soil moisture and fertility, groundwater level and topography to the beta diversity of tree communities in white-sand systems of the Amazon. The research was conducted in long-term plots managed by the Research Program on Biodiversity (PPBio) located at the Viruá National Park, Roraima, Brazil. Learn more about this study in Damasco et al. (2013).

Viruá National Park , Roraima, Brazil

Viruá National Park, Roraima, Brazil

Although the soil composition is relatively homogeneous in these ecosystems, we revealed that small changes in the soil fertility and water availability promote a high species turnover in white-sand tree communities. In contrast to results described for swamp forests in the Amazon, we found that species richness is positively related to the groundwater height and plots with higher flooding levels showed greater alpha diversity and plant biomass.  

I am very thankful to the Viruá National Park staff and to Carolina Volkmer Castilho for supporting this research. I am also thankful to the following sponsors: