Biogeography of harvestmen (Arachnids) in the Atlantic Forest, Brazil: Priority areas for conservation

Raised of $3,500 Goal
Ended on 3/06/17
Campaign Ended
  • $353
  • 11%
  • Finished
    on 3/06/17

About This Project

Hypotheses have been raised to explain the great diversity and endemism of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, one of the 25 biodiversity hotspots in the world.Understanding how species distribute along gradients and the factors that determine distribution patterns can help in understanding the processes involved in the Atlantic Forest diversification. Harvestmen are good models for biogeographic studies because they have low dispersion capacity and sensitivity to environmental variations.

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What is the context of this research?

Biogeography is the discipline that studies the distribution patterns of species and evaluates how events that occurred on a long time scale as well as environmental gradients affected such distribution. Knowing the diversity and distribution patterns of the species of harvestmen can provide important information for biogeography and help to understand the history of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. The Opiliones have low dispersion capacity and difficulty to colonize new environments. In the Atlantic Rainforest, harvestmen have high rates of endemism and are restricted to habitats with high humidity. It is necessary to investigate the historical processes as well as environmental gradients that strongly affected the harvestmen fauna.

What is the significance of this project?

This project will contribute to the increase of knowledge about the harvestmen of the brazilian Atlantic Forest, as well as the ecology of the group and historical factors that have affected the distribution of these organisms. In addition, for the realization of biogeographic studies, the concept of areas of endemism is considered one of the fundamental questions. Delimiting these areas in biogeographic studies is important, as these are the basis for the proposal of several historical hypotheses, as well as being strategic locations for the proposal of priority areas for conservation. Therefore, this project will provide subsidies for conservation actions in the biome.

What are the goals of the project?

This research aims:

1. To inventory the harvestmen of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest and quantify the beta-diversity among the sites.

2. To compare the richness and diversity of harvestmen between the areas sampled along the gradient.

3. Relate the patterns observed with climatic and geographical variables.

4. To analyze the beta-diversity patterns (turnover, nestedness) of harvestmen in a gradient in the Atlantic Forest.

5. To verify if the general patterns of distribution conform to historical-ecological hypotheses.

6. To verify if the location of the sites studied in relation to the areas of endemism has effects on the diversity patterns.

7. To verify if there are areas of endemism for harvestmen not yet defined.


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The items will help us make the last expedition to the harvestmen (Arachnida:Opiliones) sampling needed to complete my project. It will be a 20 day expedition with a team of 5 researchers. The harvestmen will be collected in 8 Atlantic Forest remanescents localized at the southern Bahia (Brazil).

Endorsed by

I support this project because it focuses on animals that have high endemism in the Atlantic Forest and are little known in parts of this biome. In addition, they are important environmental and biogeographic bioindicators.

Meet the Team

Alessandra de Andrade
Alessandra de Andrade


Federal University of Bahia
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Alessandra de Andrade

Master in Ecology and Biomonitoring by Federal University of Bahia, Brazil.

Doctorate student in Ecology by Federal University of Bahia, Brazil. The aim of my research is to understand the historical and ecological factors that influence the diversity patterns of harvestmen (Arachnida: Opiliones) in the Atlantic Rainforest.

Works with the following topics: biogeography, harvestmen ecology, biodiversity, population ecology, forest fragmentation and conservation.

Here are some of my publications:

New articles: Peres et al., 2017. International Journal of Research Studies in Biosciences / Benati et al., 2017. International Journal of Research Studies in Biosciences

Pinheiro-Passos et al., 2016. Check List v2, n1.

Gondim-Silva et al., 2016.Biota Neotropica, v16, n3.

Melo et al., 2016. Conservation Evidence, v.16.

Melo et al., 2015. Latin American Journal of Business Management v6, n3.

Andrade et al., 2009. Sitientibus v9, n3.


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Project Backers

  • 11Backers
  • 11%Funded
  • $353Total Donations
  • $32.09Average Donation
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