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Do feeding interactions of reef fishes persist on degraded coral reefs?

Grant number: 12/24432-4
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2013
Effective date (End): March 31, 2016
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Applied Ecology
Principal researcher:Paulo Roberto Guimarães Junior
Grantee:Roberta Martini Bonaldo
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Coral reefs have suffered visible reductions in their structural complexity and species biomass in the last decades. The negative effects of these losses on fish and benthic communities have been widely discussed, but little is known on its influence on the structure of ecological interactions. The feeding activity of fishes on the substratum, for instance, is one of the most important reef processes, as it determines the reef benthonic structure, especially the coral and algal community. Similarly, the formation of feeding groups by reef fishes may offer many advantages to its components, such as the increase of the food intake. Despite the importance of these interactions, little is known about their resilience in face of reef degradation. This study aims to investigate how reef degradation can influence networks of group formation by fishes engaged in feeding activities in three pairs of protected and unprotected reefs in Fiji. The data for the study have already been collected, and the following three goals are proposed: first, to build and analyze the interaction network among species present in the different sites. Second, to compare network structure across sites (protected versus unprotected) and identify which species/groups that differ between the sites. Third, to study which species-specific features may contribute to the resilience of interaction networks in face of degradation. The present study will allow the creation of an interface between theoretical ecology and applied biology, improving the comprehension of the relationship between conservation biology and the structure and dynamics of ecological networks.

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Scientific publications (8)
(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)
FONTOURA, LUISA; CANTOR, MAURICIO; LONGO, GUILHERME O.; BENDER, MARIANA G.; BONALDO, ROBERTA M.; FLOETER, SERGIO R. The macroecology of reef fish agonistic behaviour. ECOGRAPHY, v. 43, n. 9 JUN 2020. Web of Science Citations: 2.
LELLYS, NICOLE TIBURCIO; DE MOURA, RODRIGO LEAO; BONALDO, ROBERTA MARTINI; FRANCINI-FILHO, RONALDO BASTOS; GIBRAN, FERNANDO ZANIOLO. Parrotfish functional morphology and bioerosion on SW Atlantic reefs. MARINE ECOLOGY-PROGRESS SERIES, v. 629, p. 149-163, OCT 24 2019. Web of Science Citations: 0.
LIEDKE, ANA M. R.; BONALDO, ROBERTA M.; SEGAL, BARBARA; FERREIRA, CARLOS E. L.; NUNES, LUCAS T.; BURIG, ANA P.; BUCK, SONIA; OLIVEIRA-SANTOS, LUIZ GUSTAVO R.; FLOETER, SERGIO R. Resource partitioning by two syntopic sister species of butterflyfish (Chaetodontidae). Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, v. 98, n. 7, p. 1767-1773, NOV 2018. Web of Science Citations: 4.
GRILLO, ANA CAROLINA; BONALDO, ROBERTA MARTINI; SEGAL, BARBARA. Physical contact interactions with scleractinian corals in hard substrate communities. MARINE ECOLOGY-AN EVOLUTIONARY PERSPECTIVE, v. 39, n. 1 FEB 2018. Web of Science Citations: 1.
BONALDO, ROBERTA M.; PIRES, MATHIAS M.; GUIMARAES JUNIOR, PAULO ROBERTO; HOEY, ANDREW S.; HAY, MARK E. Small Marine Protected Areas in Fiji Provide Refuge for Reef Fish Assemblages, Feeding Groups, and Corals. PLoS One, v. 12, n. 1 JAN 25 2017. Web of Science Citations: 21.
SABINO, JOSE; ANDRADE, LUCIANA P.; SAZIMA, IVAN; TERESA, FABRICIO B.; FLOETER, SERGIO R.; SAZIMA, CRISTINA; BONALDO, ROBERTA M. Following fish feeding associations in marine and freshwater habitats. MARINE AND FRESHWATER RESEARCH, v. 68, n. 2, p. 381-387, 2017. Web of Science Citations: 3.
TAMEGA, F. T. S.; FIGUEIREDO, M. A. O.; FERREIRA, C. E. L.; BONALDO, R. M. Seaweed survival after consumption by the greenbeak parrotfish, Scarus trispinosus. CORAL REEFS, v. 35, n. 1, p. 329-334, MAR 2016. Web of Science Citations: 3.
LIEDKE, ANA M. R.; BARNECHE, DIEGO R.; FERREIRA, CARLOS E. L.; SEGAL, BARBARA; NUNES, LUCAS T.; BURIGO, ANA P.; CARVALHO, JOSE A.; BUCK, SONIA; BONALDO, ROBERTA M.; FLOETER, SERGIO R. Abundance, diet, foraging and nutritional condition of the banded butterflyfish (Chaetodon striatus) along the western Atlantic. Marine Biology, v. 163, n. 1 JAN 2016. Web of Science Citations: 3.

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