Vivian Jeske-Pieruschka

Vânia R. Pivello and Marie-Pierre Ledru, Departamento de Ecologia, Universidade de São Paulo, Brasil []

Reconstruction of the environmental scenario of Cerrado in northeastern Brazil based on palynology

The Cerrado is composed of different associated plant formations which together create a mosaic landscape. It is considered a biodiversity hotspot. Despite its high biological and socioeconomic importance, the Cerrado has been under threats represented by land-use regimes and the effects of global climate change. The detailed historical knowledge on the dynamics of climate and vegetation in a certain area is of great importance to understand the present ecosystem, as well as the effects of environmental changes on it. The Palynology (pollen studies) together with the charcoal analysis provides important information about the stability of plant communities as well as the influence of possible changes on climate and fire regime on these ecosystems. In addition, such studies allow the reconstruction of paleoenvironments with paleoecological data that is necessary for understanding the evolution and dynamics of current ecosystems including its biodiversity. Therefore, the proposal aims to reconstruct the vegetation history, climate variability and fire events around the past 3500 years in an area of Cerrado in northeastern Brazil, State of Maranhão. Furthermore, we expect to understand the role of burns and climate change on biodiversity and the landscape of Cerrado. The results will provide understanding on the dynamics and stability of the vegetation in relation to climate and fire as the basis for management plans for conservation of this species-rich vegetation of Brazil. Keywords: Cerrado, vegetation dynamics, fire, charcoal, pollen analysis.