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Effects of urbanization on the ecological functioning of kelps

Grant number: 17/26269-7
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2018
Effective date (End): July 25, 2019
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Applied Ecology
Principal researcher:Ronaldo Adriano Christofoletti
Grantee:Aline Sbizera Martinez
Supervisor abroad: Emma Letitia Johnston
Home Institution: Instituto de Saúde e Sociedade (ISS). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus Baixada Santista. Santos , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australia  
Associated to the scholarship:16/11947-7 - Effects of multistressors on benthic communities of rocky shores, BP.PD


Cities are expanding worldwide as human population is increasing exponentially. Urbanization is spreading uneven on land with a rapid occupation of the coast line, which currently poses a major threat to marine biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. The main problems associated with urban sprawl in the marine environment are the increased pollution and the replacement of natural shores by artificial structures. Physical changes have been associated with global declines in species richness and biological invasions, and alterations in ecological processes. However, there is still little information on the effects of urbanization on the many ecological functions that benthic assemblages exert in marine ecosystems. For instance, macroalgal assemblages, such as kelps, are posited to play an important role in carbon cycling in benthic systems, although this has not been fully investigated. Thus, the main objective of this Research Internship Abroad Scholarship is to assess how urbanization affects the role of kelps on costal systems regarding their contribution to 'blue carbon', productivity and connectivity among habitats. This will be done in collaboration with the Applied Marine and Estuarine Ecology (AMEE) Lab at the University of New South Wales, which has been leading worldwide research on human impacts on marine ecosystems. (AU)