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Enzymatic activity and bacterial diversity on degradation of aquatic macrophytes

Grant number: 13/22901-0
Support type:BIOTA-FAPESP Program - Regular Research Grants
Duration: March 01, 2014 - August 31, 2016
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology
Principal Investigator:Irineu Bianchini Júnior
Grantee:Irineu Bianchini Júnior
Home Institution: Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde (CCBS). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers:Fernanda Travaini de Lima ; Marcela Bianchessi da Cunha Santino


The macrophytes are important resources for the grazing and detritus chains in aquatic ecosystems playing a key role in nutrient cycling and fluxes of these environments. The degradation process is mediated by microbial communities which produces exoenzymes capable of catalyzing the digestion of organic matter. Whereas the rates of mass loss of the aquatic macrophytes detritus are influenced by abiotic factors (oxygen availability, chemical composition, particle size) and biotic (diversity and biomass of microorganisms), this study accepts that aerobic environments provide higher diversity of microorganisms and consequently higher enzymatic activities and mass loss. The objectives of this study are: 1) to identify the diversity of microorganisms involved in decomposition of macrophyte detritus, 2) to determine the dynamics of six enzymes activities, 3) to build kinetic models and determining the decay coefficients of the decomposition of Pontederia cordata L. and Oxycaryum cubense (Poepp. e Kunth) under aerobic and anaerobic conditions, 4) to correlate the dynamics of microbial decomposition with enzyme activities and the mass losses during decomposition of selected species. The experiments will be conducted in natural environment (Represa do Beija-Flor) and aerobic and anaerobic conditions (in vitro). This research aims to achieve greater ecological understanding of the decomposition process of macrophytes in aquatic environments, in addition to the possible identification of microorganisms potentially important for biotechnological processes. (AU)