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Dispersion, extinction and evolution of microcrustacean zooplankton at an intercontinental scale

Grant number: 23/10648-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Master's degree
Effective date (Start): December 02, 2023
Effective date (End): May 01, 2024
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Ecosystems Ecology
Principal Investigator:Gilmar Perbiche Neves
Grantee:Camila Moreira da Silva
Supervisor: Beatrix Elisabeth Beisner
Host Institution: Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde (CCBS). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Research place: Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM), Canada  
Associated to the scholarship:22/08926-9 - Spatio-temporal patterns and taxonomy of cladocerans (Crustacea) in the Congo River and its main tributaries, BP.MS


Comparative studies on the distribution of microcrustaceans on a continental scale allows us to elucidate the different evolutionary, ecological, and biogeographical processes that underlie contemporary community patterns. This study aims to analyze the intercontinental patterns of distribution, diversity, and richness (South America, North America and Africa), to understand how biogeographical factors such as geographical barriers, latitudinal gradients and dispersal affect communities, in addition to elucidating possible adaptive and evolutionary processes of the species found. Our specific objectives are to compare microcrustacean species diversity and richness between the three continents, and relate species distributions with latitude, climate, temperature, ecoregions, and functional traits. Overall, our goal is to link biogeographic patterns with ecological features. Furthermore, we will build a rich database to identify knowledge gaps, dispersal processes and species invasions as well as review historical factors and comparisons in glaciated regions. Existing databases of the three regions will be used to assess the presence or non-detection of species at each continent, and later to estimate richness, composition, diversity, and species distribution, allowing intercontinental comparative analyses, and establish relationships with environmental features and biogeographic factors. We hypothesize that: I. The structure of microcrustaceans communities is taxonomically and functionally more similar between North America and South America than between South America and Africa or between North America and Africa, the latter being least similar. II. Increasing alpha and beta diversity with decreasing latitude, regardless of lake size, due to climatic stability. III. Greatest microcrustacean diversity in the largest tropical ecoregions, except in semi-arid, arid and desert areas. (AU)

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