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Morpho-functional diversity in scyphozoan medusae: an analysis of the locomotory-feeding integrated system

Grant number: 15/01307-8
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2015
Effective date (End): August 25, 2016
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Morphology of Recent Groups
Acordo de Cooperação: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal Investigator:André Carrara Morandini
Grantee:Renato Mitsuo Nagata
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:11/50242-5 - Dimensions of marine life: patterns and process of diversifications in planktonic and benthic cnidarians, AP.BTA.TEM
Associated scholarship(s):16/05637-5 - Morpho-functional diversity in scyphozoan medusae: new data for species cultivated in Japanese institutes, BE.EP.PD


Medusae of Scyphozoa, the jellyfishes, stand out because of their large body size and eventual abundance in coastal areas, where they occupy distinct and prominent niches. These animals were the earliest metazoans to develop muscle-powered swimming. The simplicity of their muscle tissue limits the force production, however scyphomedusae evolved locomotion strategies of low energy costs, along with diverse and effective prey capture mechanisms. The bell contractions (pulsations), that provide the thrust, integrate a locomotory-feeding system, by transporting fluids toward prey capture surfaces (tentacles and oral arms), enhancing prey encounter rates. The goal of the project is to test the hypothesis that morphological diversity of bell shape is high in Scyphozoa, because of the flexibility to evolve neutral or inefficient shapes for swimming, but effectives for feeding. Variability on scyphomedusae morphospace will be quantified by means of linear measurements and of the Elliptical Fourier Analysis, a geometric morphometric method for the analysis of outline shapes. Biomechanical traits of swimming kinematics and performance will be compiled from publications, and new data will be quantified through videography techniques, for still not studied representatives of scyphozoan families. In a comparative morpho-functional analysis, we will test whether swimming performance is related to the shape variability on bell and post-bell structures by using a Factor Analysis for Mixed Data (FAMD). In addition, we will evaluate whether morphological and biomechanical patterns can be used to predict diet, forage mode, and geographic distribution by means of a Phylogenetic MANOVAs and Flexible Discriminant Analyses. Finally, we believe that our results will: i- provide a functional perspective about the diversity of body plan; ii- demonstrate biomechanical solutions; and iii- improve the understanding of the co-evolution of locomotory and feeding systems in Scyphozoa, through a novel approach for this group. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(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)
NAGATA, RENATO M.; MORANDINI, ANDRE C.; COLIN, SEAN P.; MIGOTTO, ALVARO E.; COSTELLO, JOHN H.. Transitions in morphologies, fluid regimes, and feeding mechanisms during development of the medusa Lychnorhiza lucerna. Marine Ecology Progress Series, v. 557, p. 145-159, . (16/05637-5, 15/01307-8, 10/50174-7, 11/50242-5, 11/00436-8, 14/00824-6, 13/19478-8)

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