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Interdecadal changes (1974-2003) in larval fish assemblages in the Southeast Brazilian Bight

Grant number: 13/21366-3
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2014
Effective date (End): August 31, 2018
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Oceanography - Biological Oceanography
Cooperation agreement: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal researcher:Frederico Pereira Brandini
Grantee:Cláudia Akemi Pereira Namiki
Home Institution: Instituto Oceanográfico (IO). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Larval fish assemblages cover exploited and unexploited species and larval fish abundance is a good indicator of adult spawning biomass. Therefore, long-term monitoring of larval fish assemblages is an effective way to evaluate the response of different species facing the regional impact, from fishing pressure, and large-scale environmental impact, from climate change. Despite its importance, this kind of study is still scarce due to the lack of data from long time series and the difficulty in identifying the larvae. Nevertheless, the Biological Collection "Prof. Edmundo F. Nonato" of Oceanographic Institute USP has a series of plankton samples collected over four decades, which contains important information for the understanding of the factors that affect larvae of different species of fish. The analysis of ichthyoplankton samples obtained between 1974-2003, over the northern São Paulo State continental shelf will allow the understanding of the relationship between the larval fish assemblages variation and the above mentioned impacts. Thus it is expected: to raise the knowledge about species that occupy the study area during their larval stage; to understand the relationship between larval fish assemblages and oceanographic conditions; to check if there have been changes in larval fish assemblages over time by assessing whether these changes are related to global scale climate variations, e.g. El Niño, or with fishing; and to test whether the increased abundance of gelatinous zooplankton would have a negative effect on fish larvae, causing changes in the composition of the assemblages. (AU)

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