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Interaction network and isotopic niche as mechanisms that allows hermit crab coexistence in North Coast of São Paulo State, Brazil

Grant number: 19/01287-8
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2021
Effective date (End): May 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology
Principal Investigator:Antonio Leão Castilho
Grantee:Gabriel Fellipe Barros Rodrigues
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IBB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Botucatu. Botucatu , SP, Brazil


Investigations about mechanisms that allows stable coexistence of similar species are essential to preserve the local fauna. The hermit crabs are known as good models for resource partitioning studies due the inmost relationship with empty gastropod shells. Seeing that Ubatuba bay host a considerable hermit crab richness, the main goal is test what biological and environmental processes module the hermit crab coexistence pattern, highlighting factors like: (1) resource partition; (2) isotopic niche and (3) spatio-temporal habitat segregation. The network approach will be utilized to investigate community-level patterns of interactions. Stable isotopes analysis will be applied to check the trophic position and isotopic niche, measured from muscular tissue. Interactions between a hermit crab and a gastropod shell will be compiled into quantitative interaction matrices that will be visualized and analyzed using the package "bipartite". Stable isotopes analysis will be performed in "SIAR" and "SIBER" package. All packages are available for R platform. The project must provide enough information about niche segregation from the "Modern coexistence theory" perspective. (AU)

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