Zoology of Invetebrates

Invertebrates make up 80% of the species described and frequently comprise the highest biomass in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Although much of the ecosystem services is directly or indirectly dependent to invertebrates, they are frequently neglected in biodiversity estimates. A wide range of factors contribute to this scenario like the scarce recognition by the society about the crucial role of the invertebrates on ecosystem functions or due to scientific-methodological challenges to estimate species diversity. In this way, the first years of research of the invertebrates from the Jurubatiba National Park were concentrated on species records from different aquatic and terrestrial environments. Crustaceans, arthropods, polychaets and mollusks were the principal groups recorded. For example, the abundant copepod crustacean Diaptomus azure is an endemic species from the lagoons of the region. The polychaets Laonereis culveri and Heteromastus similis and the gastropod Heleobia australis are commonly found on almost all the coastal lagoons while the polychaets Boccardiella ligerica, Dipolydora socialis and the Capitella capitata complex were recorded only in some of them.
The amphipod crustacean Atlantorchestoidea brasiliensis is an abundant species that has a close relationship with the organic matter content across the sandy shore. In times of higher availability of organic matter around the coastal lagoons we can also found the talitrid Platorchestia. A wide range of adaptations are required to survive at extreme and highly variable environmental conditions that act as filter selecting species. Aiming to elucidate these mechanisms, in a second moment studies of invertebrates were concentrated on the relationship between species distribution and the environmental heterogeneity. For example, on particular times of the year, high temperatures promote higher rates of water evaporation making the lagoons shallower, alkaline and hypersaline.
This variation in salinity as well as on the pH, the organic matter and the phosphate contents directly influence the distribution and abundance of polycheates from the lagoons, as well as the amphipod crustacean Quadrivisio lutzi, (Maeridae), that lives associated with submerged macrophytes. Q lutzi populations are able to recover after drastic environmental conditions that almost cause their complete disappearance. Investigations showed that this capability is possibly acquired with due to a high tolerance to salinity and temperature variations besides high reproduction effectiveness. Molecular tools will help elucidate questions about the genetic diversity and the gene flow as well as the variation in genetic structure in response to environmental variability and anthropogenic disturbance.
Considering that in general invertebrates have short life cycles, long-term investigations enable studies of annual and multi annual patterns of species reproduction and growth, establishing possible relationships with climatic changes. Seeing that extreme weather events, like storms, waves and cyclones, are predicted to increase over the 21st century and, due the fact that they will certainly affect the coastal regions, it becomes indispensable a better knowledge about the diversity and distribution of invertebrates for appropriate implementations of conservations and managements strategies. 

Zoology of Invetebrates Team


Carlos Alberto de Moura Barboza (carlosambarboza@gmail.com)

Lattes: http://lattes.cnpq.br/3629226944950076


Christine Ruta (christineruta@gmail.com)

Lattes: http://lattes.cnpq.br/5743254140666876


Laura Isabel Weber da Conceição (liweberc@gmail.com)

Lattes: http://lattes.cnpq.br/5699871854135476


Paulo Cesar de Paiva (paulo.paiva@gmail.com)

Lattes: http://lattes.cnpq.br/1226350276509077


Vinícius Abano Araújo (vialbano@gmail.com)

Lattes: http://lattes.cnpq.br/0559800226477492


Marco Antônio Bastos Gomes (marcoaiabio@gmail.com)

Lattes: http://lattes.cnpq.br/9344695175419319