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ELUCIDATING INTRA AND INTERSPECIFIC COMPETITION IN NYMPHS OF NEOTROPICAL DRAGONFLY

Grant number: 23/11942-9
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2024
Effective date (End): December 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Ecosystems Ecology
Principal Investigator:Victor Satoru Saito
Grantee:Frederico Zanatta de Oliveira
Host Institution: Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde (CCBS). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Understanding the processes that structure natural communities is one of the ultimate goals of ecology. Among these processes, competition is fundamental in maintaining biodiversity. According to the Coexistence theory, for two or more species to coexist, it is necessary to follow the criterion of invasiveness, when they are able to invade a community and increase their abundance when rare. Thus, one of the mechanisms that may favor coexistence is to make intraspecific competition greater than interspecific, so that each population regulates itself before competitively excluding the other. However, when the invasiveness criterion is not met, the species only co-occur in the long term, that is, the species do not have ecological differences (equivalents) and their populations are simply affected by neutral demographic processes (independent of the species). Dragonfly nymphs are organisms that are potentially affected by neutral processes, as they are opportunistic generalists, with similar sit-and-wait strategies. Thus, to test the ecological equivalence of dragonfly nymphs, competition experiments will be conducted in aquariums simulating microcosms and in controlled situations. Total and relative abundances in pairs of species will be manipulated, varying according to treatment, and the effects on growth and mortality rates will be measured.

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