Isotopic characterization of mammalian associated pathways: Implications in the role of the ecosystem and its feeding behavior

Image Credit: Agustina Serrón

Written by Agustina Serrón

Despite the growing research in road ecology, there are few works that focus on understanding consumer and resource interactions in road-adjacent environments, limiting the understanding of these complex systems. In this project, the trophic use of areas associated with route 9 in the department of Rocha, of medium and large mammals will be evaluated through the characterization by stable isotopes and their relationship with adjacent land uses. To this end, stable carbon and nitrogen isotope values ​​will be examined in both roadkill hair samples and associated vegetation, and metrics of trophic structure (e.g. isotopic niche) will be determined. Likewise, to determine the land uses of the area, a visual interpretation will be carried out with Sentinel 2 images, in addition, a visual recognition will be made of the field of managed and unmanaged vegetation on the sides of the route and recognition of the types of crops after the fence. . Trophic metrics will be modeled based on landscape attributes using explanatory models such as random forest. The results of this research will represent an input towards the understanding of the ecological functioning of route systems, while at the same time providing the necessary information for the conservation and management of fauna associated with the routes.

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