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Fish community structure in mesophotic ecosystems: an analysis between depth gradients in biogeographic provinces of the Atlantic Ocean

Grant number: 22/08684-5
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2022
Effective date (End): June 30, 2024
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Ecosystems Ecology
Principal researcher:Hudson Tercio Pinheiro
Grantee:Julia Marx de Souza
Home Institution: Centro de Biologia Marinha (CEBIMAR). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Sebastião , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:19/24215-2 - Biodiversity, biogeography and conservation of mesophotic coral ecosystems in the Atlantic Ocean, AP.JP

Abstract

Mesophotic reef ecosystems (ME) have been widely proposed as refuge environments for a great biodiversity of organisms threatened by shallow reef degradation (e.g. pollution, fisheries, sedimentation). ME are generally protected and dampened from disturbances, due to their depth and distance from the coast, which make them places of shelter and reproduction. Despite its importance for the maintenance of biodiversity, there are few studies that explore the patterns of distribution and abundance of fish communities across depth gradients and the connectivity of these ecosystems with shallow reefs on broader scales. Thus, this work aims to investigate for the first time how biogeographic, historical and environmental aspects influence the distribution of fish species in different provinces of the Atlantic Ocean, and to explore the functional diversity of species along the depth gradient of mesophotic reef ecosystems. Thus, the data obtained from this research will contribute to the mapping and evaluation of ME goods and services in Brazil and in the Atlantic Ocean.

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