Researches and preserves the amphibians specialized in bromeliads at Brazil's Atlantic Forest. The bromeliads accumulate rainwater between the leaves, creating a micro-environment used by many animals. There are 60 amphibian species (toads and tree frogs) that live and breed inside bromeliads.
home for the bromeligenous
There are 3.500 bromeliad species, of which 1.000 species occur in the Atlantic Forest. Out of those 1.000 species, 81% are endemic to the Atlantic Forest and 40% are threatened to extinction.
The bromeliads are threatened due to habitat destruction and illegal extractivism, resulting in habitat loss for the associated animals. The bromeliads are important for humans because they provide beneficial ecosystem services, such as biodiversity management, nutrient cycling, control of disease vectors, influence on water and carbon cycles, besides having great potential for pharmaceutical and chemical products.
Bromeligenous are organisms with life cycles (genous = origin) associated to the rainwater accumulated in bromeliads. The bromeligenous amphibians are born, develop, breed, eat, and shelter within bromeliads. Around 180 amphibian species require bromeliads for breeding, 35% of which are threatened to extinction. Only 12% of the Atlantic Forest remains, but it harbors 60 (30%) bromeligenous amphibians.
The engagement of students and rural residents promote sustainable management practices toward the preservation of amphibians and bromeliads.