Monday, January 29, 2018

What you are doing the FEME group students?

Today we will talk about Natalia. Currently, she is doing a PhD thesis in Ecology at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte. Her thesis associates habitat preferences, demography and molecular tools aiming to assess the vulnerability of the endemic and endangered Greenbeak parrotfish (Scarus trispinosus), with the goal of subsidizing actions for the species conservation. Last year she worked very hard to collect data...take a look!

Aiming to investigate habitat preferences, underwater visual censuses were conducted along Rio Grande do Norte coast (Brazilian northeast) to collect density and biomass patterns of five endemic Brazilian parrotfish species. 

Endemic Brazilian parrotfish individuals.

The visual censuses consist of belt transects in which a diver identified, counted and estimated the total length of the parrotfish species inside an area of 40 m² (20 x 2 m). 

Natalia during a visual census.

Parrotfish biomass was estimated using length-weight relationships available in the literature. Following each visual census, a second diver ran the same belt transect taking one photo of the benthos every two meters, resulting in ten photos per transect. Each photograph was analyzed with the software photoQuad to investigate the benthic cover. 

Looking for reef features.

Other reef features (complexity, depth and coast distance) of each site are also considered. The data are being analyzed and the results will be shown soon.