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Zonation on sheltered rocky shores in the subtropical Atlantic: Spatial variation and biofilm effect.

Grant number: 13/04184-9
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2013
Effective date (End): February 28, 2015
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Ecosystems Ecology
Principal Investigator:Marcel Okamoto Tanaka
Grantee:Jaqueline Cristiane Siquitelli
Host Institution: Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde (CCBS). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):14/05669-9 - Discussion and data analysis of the project "zonation in sheltered rocky shores of the subtropical Atlantic: spatial variation and biofilm effects", BE.EP.MS


The zonation on rocky shores has a multifactorial origin, including physical and chemical elements and several biological interactions. An example is the relationship between the biofilm and the barnacles, because the biofilm may have an influence in the barnacle settlement. The microorganisms' complex is dependent on environmental factors and may act in the cirripedia settlement in a positive or negative way. Thereby, we suggest that the biofilm influences a pattern of zonation on sheltered rocky shores in the subtropical region. At this shores, the barnacle zone present in intertidal is interrupted, having an inferior zone of bare space, except for the presence of biofilm and few competitors until the infralittoral. The goal of this work is to describe the vertical and horizontal spatial scale in the intertidal zone and to evaluate the hypothesis that the biofilm determines this pattern. For that, we will do a description of the benthic community in two regions in southeastern Brazil. Futhermore, we will do experimental research to evaluate if barnacle settlement is dependent of the biofilm's presence and if the height of the zone where biofilm develops is relevant, and also, if there is differential mortality of barnacles in relation to the zone's height. The results of this study will provide a framework about the sheltered rocky shores in the region. Moreover, the investigation about the role of natural biofilms in the pattern can elucidate this process in the field and in the sheltered environments, where few approaches were made

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