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Fish communities of sandy beach surf zones: exploring new methodologies and providing knowledge for management strategies

Grant number: 19/25144-1
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2020
Effective date (End): August 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Oceanography - Biological Oceanography
Principal Investigator:Antonia Cecília Zacagnini Amaral
Grantee:Yasmina Michel Liliane Shah Esmaeili
Supervisor abroad: Jonathan S Lefcheck
Home Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC), United States  
Associated to the scholarship:18/05099-9 - Fish communities of sandy beach surf zones: unraveling the myths, exploring different methodologies and providing knowledge for management strategies, BP.DR

Abstract

Sandy beaches dominate the world's coastlines and provide critical ecosystem services, yet are also amongst the most threatened and least-studied coastal ecosystems. Surf zones of sandy beaches in particular are known to be important nurseries, spawning and feeding grounds for many commercially-important and vulnerable fish species, and therefore key habitats in the transfer of large amounts of biomass away from the coastal zone. To be able to conserve these habitats and the services they provide, simple and efficient techniques must be developed that yield a better understanding of their ecological functioning and potential human impacts. This project has three main objectives: (1) to assess environmental drivers and anthropogenic impacts such as urbanization on fish community compositions and their trophic interactions; (2) test classical sampling techniques against new methods, such as environmental or eDNA, to characterize the biodiversity of these systems; (3) investigate connectivity between sandy beaches and offshore environments of three commercially important fish species. The results of this study will enhance the understanding of sandy beach surf zones as key but previously overlooked habitats, and identify important indicators for conservation and management plans. (AU)