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Composition of nematode assemblages associated with whale carcass in the southwest Atlantic Ocean

Grant number: 19/18526-5
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2020
Effective date (End): February 28, 2021
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Oceanography - Biological Oceanography
Principal researcher:Fabiane Gallucci
Grantee:Ana Karoline Frutuoso de Ávila
Home Institution: Instituto do Mar (IMar). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus Baixada Santista. Santos , SP, Brazil


Whale carcasses are frequent in migrating route areas given the higher mortality indices within these areas. These carcasses promote organic enrichment which is essential to the deep sea, therefore supporting a dense community of opportunist organisms that are specialists in this type of environment. The large availability of food resources created by the carcass develops into a condition of chemosynthesis so that the colonizing fauna resembles those from other chemosynthetic deep-sea environments. This research proposal is part of the BioSuor project (Biodiversity and Connectivity of Benthic Communities in Organic Substrates in the Deep Southwest Atlantic- FAPESP: 2011/50185-1). Within this Project, organic substrates (whale bones and wood parcels) were experimentally deployed at 1500 and 3000m between 21º and 25º S (SP, RJ, and ES) and sampled after 23 months. The aim of the present proposal is to describe the nematode assemblages associated with the whale bones and compare the composition between assemblages from the different depths and with other reducted environments, oceanic basins, and other carcasses. In this way, we expect to contribute to the understanding of connectivity and dispersion of these organisms in this particular environment in the deep sea. (AU)

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