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The impact of nutritional requirements of mesoherbivores on their host preferences

Grant number: 15/09307-7
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2015
Effective date (End): October 31, 2016
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology
Principal Investigator:Fosca Pedini Pereira Leite
Grantee:Glauco Barreto de Oliveira Machado
Supervisor abroad: Erik Sotka
Home Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : College of Charleston, United States  
Associated to the scholarship:13/17629-9 - Predation on herbivorous amphipods associated to macroalgae: role of the host and the characteristics of herbivore, BP.DR


Nutrients are essential throughout the development of organisms. The nutritional requirements, which are represented by amount and balance of nutrients that must be ingested by an individual over time, at minimum cost to fitness, are one of the main driving factors of the interaction between organisms and their environment. Understanding the role of nutrition on the organisms' lives requires investigating how individuals regulate the intake and use of nutrients. The interaction between small herbivores and host plants is often constrained by the food and refuge values of the host. The role of predation and abiotic forces, which are known to drive the ecology and evolution of host use by marine mesoherbivores, have been tested in several studies. However, few studies have explored the mesoherbivores' nutritional requirements, as well as their impacts on the herbivore-host interaction. Moreover, the natural diet of mesoherbivores also remains a less explored field. In this sense, this project aims to investigate the natural diet and the nutrition of two mesoherbivores, Ampithoe longimana and Gammarus mucronatus, inhabiting seaweed beds throughout the Atlantic coast of the United States. We will carry out feeding experiments to test how these amphipods regulate the intake and use of protein and carbohydrate, and what the consequences are to their fitness. Furthermore, field work will be conducted to evaluate their natural diet. This study represents a complement of the ongoing PhD project in Brazil, which approaches the role of predation on the association of herbivorous amphipods with their hosts. Therefore, we expected this study would contribute towards the knowledge about marine herbivore-host plant interaction.

Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
MACHADO, GLAUCO B. O.; LEITE, FOSCA P. P.; SOTKA, ERIK E. Nutrition of marine mesograzers: integrating feeding behavior, nutrient intake and performance of an herbivorous amphipod. PeerJ, v. 6, NOV 9 2018. Web of Science Citations: 1.

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