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Ecological succession in the sublittoral fouling community: the effect of the change of the biological substrate in the associated fauna

Grant number: 17/09444-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2017
Effective date (End): June 30, 2018
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Applied Ecology
Principal researcher:Fosca Pedini Pereira Leite
Grantee:Vanessa Silva Vicente
Home Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


As communities are constantly being modified by natural and anthropic disturbances, they remove organisms and open new spaces that can be colonized, giving rise to a new process of ecological succession. To understand this process, how the fouling marine communities are a good model of experimentation because they are easy to observe and manipulate, have short generations and their organisms are known. The organisms that make up the fouling communities are characterized by the dominance of ascidians and bryozoans, also occurring other groups such as sponges, barnacles, bivalves, tubular polychaetes and hydrozoans. Succession in fouling communities can follow varied paths, for example, being influenced by the initial settler, which can decrease the amount of available space. As space is a limiting resource, competition between the components of the community for a better use of this resource can guide the way of succession in a very specific and important way in the structuring of these communities. The fauna associated to the biological substrate, composed mainly of crustaceans, molluscs and polychaetes, finds food, shelter and reproductive site in this place. Therefore, possible changes that occur along the successional process in the biological substrate can directly influence the associated fauna. This work aims to analyze along the successional process, how changes occur in both the biological substrate and the associated fauna and how the substrate change can influence the fauna. For that, we will sample fouling communities that have developed on PVC boards, during different times (six, nine and 12 months). The biological substrate samples will be identified through photographs and quantified as to the area of cover they occupy in the substrate, and the associated fauna will be separated into large groups and accounted for. Changes in the composition of the fouling community and the associated fauna throughout the successional periods will be analyzed. (AU)

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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)
VICENTE, VANESSA S.; FERREIRA, ANA P.; PERES, PEDRO A.; SIQUEIRA, SILVANA G. L.; LEITE, FOSCA P. P.; VIEIRA, EDSON A. Succession of marine fouling community influences the associated mobile fauna via physical complexity increment. MARINE AND FRESHWATER RESEARCH, JUN 2021. Web of Science Citations: 0.

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