Heraldo L. Vasconcelos

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We synthesized key findings from the Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project, the world’s largest and longest-running experimental study of habitat fragmentation. Although initially designed to assess the influence of fragment area on Amazonian biotas, the project has yielded insights that go far beyond the original scope of the study. Results(More)
Correlation between gut microbiota and host phylogeny could reflect codiversification over shared evolutionary history or a selective environment that is more similar in related hosts. These alternatives imply substantial differences in the relationship between host and symbiont, but can they be distinguished based on patterns in the community data(More)
1. Arboreal ants are both diverse and ecologically dominant in the tropics. Such ecologically important groups are likely to be particularly useful in ongoing empirical efforts to understand the processes that regulate species diversity and coexistence. 2. Our study addresses how access to tree-based resources and the diversity of pre-existing nesting(More)
Climate and litter quality are primary drivers of terrestrial decomposition and, based on evidence from multisite experiments at regional and global scales, are universally factored into global decomposition models. In contrast, soil animals are considered key regulators of decomposition at local scales but their role at larger scales is unresolved. Soil(More)
The hypothesis that ants (Pheidole minutula) associated with the myrmecophytic melastome Maieta guianensis defend their host-plant against herbivores was investigated in a site near Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil. M. guianensis is a small shrub that produces leaf pouches as ant domatia. Plants whose ants were experimentally removed suffered a significant increase(More)
Although many taxa show a latitudinal gradient in richness, the relationship between latitude and species richness is often asymmetrical between the northern and southern hemispheres. Here we examine the latitudinal pattern of species richness across 1003 local ant assemblages. We find latitudinal asymmetry, with southern hemisphere sites being more diverse(More)
We studied the energy flow from C3 and C4 plants to higher trophic levels in a central Amazonian savanna by comparing the carbon stable-isotope ratios of potential food plants to the isotope ratios of species of different consumer groups. All C4 plants encountered in our study area were grasses and all C3 plants were bushes, shrubs or vines. Differences in(More)
This study evaluates biotic responses, using ants as bio-indicators, to relatively recent anthropogenic disturbances to mature forest in central Amazonia. The structure of the ground-foraging ant community was compared in four habitats that represented a gradient of disturbance associated with differences in land use. Ants were collected in undisturbed,(More)
Amazonian forest fragments and second-growth forests often differ substantially from undisturbed forests in their microclimate, plant-species composition, and soil fauna. To determine if these changes could affect litter decomposition, we quantified the mass loss of two contrasting leaf-litter mixtures, in the presence or absence of soil macroinvertebrates,(More)