Genética aplicada à ecologia de estradas: um estudo na estrada municipal Guilherme Scatena (São Carlos, SP) e potencial impacto na biodiversidade local
Rodriguez Castro, Karen Giselle
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Roads generate a large ecological impact to wildlife by raising barriers among ranges of species originally continuous and for causing road-kills. After road-killing, a morphological identification becomes impossible for the loss of diagnostic features, especially in the case of small vertebrates. Use of molecular tools for identification is an alternative that has shown successful results, especially when looking towards the species level. We identified samples from animals road-killed, collected on Guilherme Scatena road, through the use of DNA barcode markers, contributing to the local biodiversity knowledge. Another objective was to know the places that have a higher incidence of road kill and the type of landscape coverage in them. During 20 weeks we collected 123 vertebrates: six mammals (5% of total), 30 birds (24%), 38 amphibians (30%) and 49 reptiles (40%), which meant an average of 0.051 animals/Km road-killed. Through morphological characteristics and molecular (mitochondrial genes cox1 and 16S) we identified 111 samples until species status. Analyses among taxonomic classes showed significant differences, confirming that the effects of roads on biodiversity are taxon-specific. We found 19 different types of landscape around the road, being the most common farm buildings and pasture, showing the strong anthropic pressure on environments of this region. The results shown in this study are intended to be an important basis for planning future actions that provide the best management of this area rich in endemic biodiversity of the Brazilian cerrado, as well as mitigation measures to lessen the impact caused by the road.