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Physiognomic survey of the benthic marine communities of consolidated substrate in the State of São Paulo

Grant number: 02/07412-8
Support Opportunities:BIOTA-FAPESP Program - Regular Research Grants
Duration: December 01, 2002 - February 28, 2007
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Ecosystems Ecology
Principal Investigator:Flávio Augusto de Souza Berchez
Grantee:Flávio Augusto de Souza Berchez
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


The characterization of the biodiversity of benthic communities at the level of community can be summed up, on the Brazilian coast, in little more than a dozen works studying, in total, an area of approximately just 500 m2. Our objective is to test the viability of a new type of approach, unique for marine communities of consolidated substrate, based on the sampling at physiognomic level using sample elements consisting of images of a selected size, obtained at random points in order to obtain basic information on the temporal space variation of the structure of the community, complemented among others, with dominant species in each physiognomy. The method will permit a large increase in the speed and scope of the samplings, which could be undertaken throughout the proposed regions, instead of merely in isolated stations. On the basis of the images we will determine the percentage depositions for each of the physiognomies within the sample elements. At selected points the results will be compared with others obtained in traditional samplings using the percentage deposition of species (intersection of points method), before evaluating the degree of loss of information and the consistency of physiognomies defined. It is further intended to train a team involving researchers, students and research support technicians which will enable the project to be extended and the dissemination of the results through the carrying out of environmental education activities (sub aquatic guided walk and observation tank). (AU)

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