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Taxonomy and spatial and temporal dynamics of microcrustaceans (Cladocera and Copepoda) along the Congo River (Africa)

Grant number: 20/04047-5
Support Opportunities:BIOTA-FAPESP Program - Regular Research Grants
Duration: September 01, 2021 - August 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Taxonomy of Recent Groups
Principal Investigator:Gilmar Perbiche Neves
Grantee:Gilmar Perbiche Neves
Host Institution: Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde (CCBS). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers: Alberto Vieira Borges ; Eduardo Suárez Morales ; Francisco Diogo Rocha Sousa ; Hugo Miguel Preto de Morais Sarmento ; Pascal Isumbisho Mwapu ; Paulo Henrique Costa Corgosinho ; Victor Satoru Saito


While some Cladocera and Copepoda species are cosmopolitan, others have complex distribution patterns, generally related to historical events, regional and local effects. This project will analyze the taxonomy and ecological attributes of microcrustaceans of the second largest river in the world in terms of water volume and drainage basin, the Congo River in Africa (also kneed as Zaire River), for which zooplankton is unknown. Across 1,700 kilometers, three campaign samples were performed at 56 points in the main channel, tributaries and a lake, in four periods over two years (N = 672 samples). New species will be described and an identification catalog will be produced with illustrations and photographs of microcrustaceans from the Congo River (there is no supporting bibliography for identification). With quantitative data on the density of organisms, ecological attributes will be calculated (abundance, alpha, beta and gamma diversity, equitability), which will be space-time analyzed with univariate and multivariate statistics and correlated with limnological variables measured at each sampling site. We will describe the zooplankton diversity along the analyzed section, verifying changes especially after the entrance of large tributaries of black or muddy waters and lakes, as well as between the high and low water phases. It is assumed that the composition and diversity will be stable at and quite high, similar to that of large tropical rivers such as the Amazon, Mekong, among others. There will be extensive collaboration with researchers from Mexico, Belgium, Republic of Congo and Brazil, which will result in the publication of articles in journals with a high impact factor. There will also be guidance at different academic levels. (AU)

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