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Brazilian subterranean aquatic fauna: biodiversity, biology, evolution, ecology and conservation

Grant number: 03/00794-5
Support Opportunities:Research Projects - Thematic Grants
Duration: August 01, 2004 - October 31, 2008
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology
Principal Investigator:Eleonora Trajano
Grantee:Eleonora Trajano
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Pesquisadores principais:
Luiz Silveira Menna Barreto


Brazil, with one of the richest subterranean ichthyofaunas in the world (18 out of about 100 species recorded throughout the world), interesting instances of relictual crustaceans (e.g., spelaeogriphaceans and calabozoans) and an inclination for fieldwork due to the presence of well-established autochthonous research teams, offers a great potential for biospeleological research, with important developments for conservation of the fragile subterranean ecosystems. Taking faunistic surveys in several Brazilian karst areas as a starting point, the present 4 years project encompasses a wide spectrum of different aspects of the biology of aquatic taxa with troglobitic (exclusively subterranean) derivatives. Some of these aspects, already focused in our previous studies (behaviour, chronobiology), will be studied in more detail and applying new methods, representing a relevant qualitative and quantitative leap. Others will be studied for the first time in Brazilian aquatic troglobites (respirometry, morphology of sensorial systems). Periodical trips to 12 karst areas in Bahia, Minas Gerais, Goiás, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul and São Paulo, and some non-karst localities in the Amazon basin as well, are planned for field work aiming to investigate the natural history and population ecology of fishes and crustaceans (including mark-recapture studies for some fish), and the collection of specimens to be brought to the laboratory in São Paulo Cifro Part of these specimens will be kept active for behavioural and physiological studies, and part will be preserved for systematic (including molecular studies), anatomy and biology (diet, reproduction). Observations and collections in caves will be done during snorkeling or, in the case of deep caves, the highly specialized SCUBA speleodiving. The detection of hotspots of subterranean biodiversity is an important step in the proposition of rational conservation policies, which also must take into account the particular biology of troglobites. (AU)

Articles published in Pesquisa FAPESP Magazine about the research grant:
Underground life 
Vida subterránea 
Articles published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the research grant:
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Scientific publications (11)
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
DE ARAUJO, MARCEL SANTOS; BICHUETTE, MARIA ELINA; BAUCHAN, GARY R.; OCHOA, RONALD; FAZZIO FERES, REINALDO JOSE. A new species of cave dwelling Neocarus (Acari: Opilioacaridae) from Bahia state, Brazil, with remarks on taxonomic characters. Zootaxa, v. 4402, n. 2, p. 303-322, . (03/00794-5, 10/13269-0, 12/23824-6, 15/05315-5)
BICHUETTE, MARIA ELINA; TRAJANO, ELEONORA. Ituglanis mambai, a new subterranean catfish from a karst area of Central Brazil, rio Tocantins basin (Siluriformes: Trichomycteridae). Neotropical Ichthyology, v. 6, n. 1, p. 9-15, . (03/00794-5)
FELICE, VANESSA; VISCONTI, MARIA APARECIDA; TRAJANO, ELEONORA. Mechanisms of pigmentation loss in subterranean fishes. Neotropical Ichthyology, v. 6, n. 4, p. 657-662, . (03/00794-5)
RIZZATO, PEDRO PEREIRA; COSTA-, JR., EDMUNDO P. D.; TRAJANO, ELEONORA; BICHUETTE, MARIA ELINA. Trichomycterus dali: a new highly troglomorphic catfish (Silurifomes: Trichomycteridae) from Serra da Bodoquena, Mato Grosso do Sul State, Central Brazil. Neotropical Ichthyology, v. 9, n. 3, p. 477-491, . (09/15030-7, 03/00794-5)
KURY, A. B.; PEREZ-GONZALEZ, A.. The first cave-dwelling Spinopilar Mello-Leitao 1940 (Opiliones Gonyleptidae Tricommatinae), described from a Brazilian cave. TROPICAL ZOOLOGY, v. 21, n. 2, p. 259-267, . (03/00794-5)
ARAUJO, MARCEL SANTOS DE; SILVA AGUA DUARTE, MARCUS VINICIUS DA; BICHUETTE, MARIA ELINA. A new species of cave-dwelling Neocarus (Acari: Opilioacaridae) from Minas Gerais state, Brazil with a key to species of the genus. SYSTEMATIC AND APPLIED ACAROLOGY, v. 26, n. 7, p. 1229-1240, . (10/13269-0, 12/23824-6, 03/00794-5, 15/05315-5)
BICHUETTE, MARIA ELINA; RANTIN, BIANCA; HINGST-ZAHER, ERIKA; TRAJANO, ELEONORA. Geometric morphometrics throws light on evolution of the subterranean catfish Rhamdiopsis krugi (Teleostei: Siluriformes: Heptapteridae) in eastern Brazil. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, v. 114, n. 1, p. 136-151, . (03/00794-5)

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