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UK Research and Innovations (2019)

Evaluating ecological assembly rules for aquatic-terrestrial transition zones in the Okavango Delta, Botswana

Aquatic-terrestrial Botswana

Titre : Evaluating ecological assembly rules for aquatic-terrestrial transition zones in the Okavango Delta, Botswana

Pays/Région : Botswana

Durée : sept. 19 - mars 24

Référence projet : 2235786
Catégorie : Studentship

Résumé
One of the main aims of community ecology is to understand the drivers of biodiversity, including how and why so many species can coexist. In flood-pulse driven systems, communities switch from terrestrial to aquatic species based on a range of environmental filters that operate across multiple spatial and temporal scales. Quantifying the relative importance of different mechanisms, including dispersal, competition and predation, that occur in these heterogeneous habitats will provide insights about conditions that promote biodiversity across a wide range of ecosystems. A central aim of this project will be the collection of empirical datasets related to aquatic invertebrate biodiversity along an aquatic-terrestrial transition zone in a pristine flood-pulsing wetland, the Okavango Delta in Botswana. The field collections will be used to explore community composition, interactions, food web structure, and adaptations to dry periods. The target group will be aquatic macroinvertebrates, with a focus on Chironomidae, since this group is especially relevant as bioindicator. Very few studies have focused on aquatic macroinvertebrates in the Delta, and surveys at species level are very scarce, therefore, this project will seek to provide resolution to understand the local and regional biodiversity, contributing, in this way, to Aichi biodiversity targets (https://www.cbd.int/sp/targets/).

Lead Research Organisation : King’s College London

Financement : Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)

UK Research and Innovations

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