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FAPESP and the Sustainable Development Goals

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SDG 14 Life Below Water

News

SDG 14 Life Below Water

Deforestation is starting to affect fish diversity in Amazon streams
SDG 14
Deforestation is starting to affect fish diversity in Amazon streams

Species sensitive to habitat change are gradually being replaced by more resistant species, according to a study conducted in Brazil. The trend is leading to a loss of the ecological functions performed by the vanishing species.


Diversity of coralline red algae is greater than expected and could increase further
SDG 13, SDG 14
Diversity of coralline red algae is greater than expected and could increase further

Genetic sequencing enables scientists to identify 79 different species of coralline algae serving as a habitat for countless marine organisms on the Brazilian coast, with many yet to be explored in deep waters.


Growth of coral reef in southern Atlantic was controlled by changes in last 5,000 years
SDG 14
Growth of coral reef in southern Atlantic was controlled by changes in last 5,000 years

Described in 2019, the Queimada Grande coral reef off the coast of São Paulo state arose when the ocean was warmer and stopped growing when cooler sea surface temperatures influenced the climate in the region, according to a study led by researchers at the Federal University of São Paulo.


New Caledonia has the greatest diversity of deep-sea corals in the world
SDG 14
New Caledonia has the greatest diversity of deep-sea corals in the world

A book with a Brazilian co-author documents 267 species in the archipelago, 47 of which had never been described before. It resulted from 37 scientific expeditions conducted between 1978 and 2016 by France’s National Museum of Natural History.


New description increases number of known species in jellyfish genus from seven to 28
SDG 13, SDG 14
New description increases number of known species in jellyfish genus from seven to 28

On the basis of genetic analysis of jellyfish specimens held in collections around the world, researchers have reclassified these species in the genus Aurelia, many of which are highly similar. Painstaking descriptions of species are key to conservation strategies.


eDNA sequencing will enable scientists to explore piscine diversity in the Amazon without catching fish
SDG 14
eDNA sequencing will enable scientists to explore piscine diversity in the Amazon without catching fish

Scientists identified fish orders present in the Javari River basin by sequencing DNA molecules in water samples. To make the method more sensitive and capable of differentiating species, however, reference libraries of genetic material must be created.


New species of green microalga identified in São Paulo
SDG 14
New species of green microalga identified in São Paulo

The discovery resulted in phylogenetic reclassification of microalgae in the genus Nephrocytium. An article on the research is in Taxon.


Scientists use artificial intelligence to simulate the effects of warming on the Southern Ocean
SDG 13, SDG 14
Scientists use artificial intelligence to simulate the effects of warming on the Southern Ocean

A study published in Frontiers in Marine Science is the first to predict the impact of long-term changes in sea surface temperature on local microbial diversity. The methodology is also innovative.


Citizen scientists help assure quality of coastal biodiversity monitoring
SDG 14
Citizen scientists help assure quality of coastal biodiversity monitoring

A study conducted in the port city of Santos (Brazil) by researchers at the Federal University of São Paulo shows collaboration between civil society and academia achieving progress toward the goals of the UN Ocean Decade.


Climate change will alter functioning of marine microbial communities, study shows
SDG 13, SDG 14
Climate change will alter functioning of marine microbial communities, study shows

Plankton are the foundation of life in the oceans and produce half the world’s oxygen. These marine microorganisms will suffer from rising temperatures at the poles, rising salinity in the tropics, and a reduction in the flow of nutrients in the temperate zone, according to simulations based on data collected from all oceans around the globe.


Species with spines and ‘armor’ are favorite prey for electric eels in the Amazon
SDG 14
Species with spines and ‘armor’ are favorite prey for electric eels in the Amazon

Electric eels of the species Electrophorus varii feed on other fish, especially those habitually hunted by larger predators such as caimans and giant river otters. Hunting tactics enable them to maintain the same diet in the wet and dry seasons alike.


Study reveals drastic decline of aquatic insect population in Paraná River basin
SDG 14
Study reveals drastic decline of aquatic insect population in Paraná River basin

Analysis of data collected over 20 years suggests the decline is due to the construction of over 180 dams on the Paraná and its tributaries.


Study reveals decline in predatory fish catch at Arraial do Cabo, Brazil
SDG 12, SDG 14
Study reveals decline in predatory fish catch at Arraial do Cabo, Brazil

Analysis of fishery data and interviews with artisanal fishers confirmed replacement of large species by others that are less valuable commercially, and 37 species were considered overfished.


Experiments simulate possible impact of climate change on crabs
SDG 13, SDG 14
Experiments simulate possible impact of climate change on crabs

Fewer Atlantic mangrove fiddler crab embryos survived in a warmer, more acid environment mimicking conditions forecast for the end of this century. Given the important ecological role of this invertebrate in mangroves, the researchers warn of a potential cascade effect.


Brazilian study estimates thresholds for protecting riparian zones to avoid aquatic biodiversity collapse
SDG 14
Brazilian study estimates thresholds for protecting riparian zones to avoid aquatic biodiversity collapse

Fifty researchers at 26 institutions analyzed a huge mass of data, finding that no single size of conservation area is valid for the entire country.


Genomic analysis of mako shark reveals genes relating to tumor suppression in humans
SDG 3, SDG 14
Genomic analysis of mako shark reveals genes relating to tumor suppression in humans

Genetic mapping of the shark’s liver and eye tissue showed overexpression of nine genes known for action in tumor suppression, wound healing, and probable monochrome vision. The species is considered globally endangered and caught on a large scale by industrial fishing vessels.


Tube-dwelling anemone toxins have pharmacological potential, mapping study shows
SDG 3, SDG 14
Tube-dwelling anemone toxins have pharmacological potential, mapping study shows

Analysis identified 525 genes encoding proteins that act on the nervous system, cardiovascular system and cell walls. One of the molecules proved effective against cancer cells in preliminary test results.


Conservation planning in Amazon should prioritize aquatic biodiversity, study concludes
SDG 14, SDG 15
Conservation planning in Amazon should prioritize aquatic biodiversity, study concludes

Simulations using field data suggest focusing on the protection of species that live in rivers and lakes can be more efficient than the approach most used now, which focuses on terrestrial biodiversity. An article at Science is based on the findings.


Invasive grasses threaten survival of Brazilian savanna
SDG 11, SDG 14
Invasive grasses threaten survival of Brazilian savanna

Brazilian researchers show that African forage grasses resist management by fire and that palisade grass tends to spread to burned areas previously occupied by molasses grass, another invasive species.


Anatomical details of rare electric fish revealed by an advanced imaging technique
SDG 14
Anatomical details of rare electric fish revealed by an advanced imaging technique

Thanks to the use of high-resolution microcomputed tomography, a cross-border research collaboration was able to study the only three known specimens of Tembeassu marauna, held at the University of São Paulo’s Zoology Museum. The results enabled scientists to classify the species more precisely.


Contamination by metals can increase metabolic stress in mussels
SDG 14
Contamination by metals can increase metabolic stress in mussels

The animals' response may be a sign of ecosystem imbalance. Experiments performed on six beaches of Brazil’s Southeast Region showed that the mussels' activity intensifies when they are exposed to metallic contaminants in seawater.


Unexpected pattern of fish species richness found in the Amazon Basin
SDG 14
Unexpected pattern of fish species richness found in the Amazon Basin

International collaboration results in largest-ever inventory of Amazon fish fauna. Data will help estimate the risk of impacts related to the construction of dams and waterways as well as deforestation, mining and climate change.


A new species of electric eel produces the highest voltage discharge of any known animal
SDG 14
A new species of electric eel produces the highest voltage discharge of any known animal

An article published in Nature Communications shows that three species of electric eel exist, not just one as previously described, and that one of them produces an electric shock up to 860 volts. The researchers were funded by FAPESP, the Smithsonian and National Geographic.


DNA analysis reveals the presence of endangered species in fishery catch and bycatch
SDG 12, SDG 14
DNA analysis reveals the presence of endangered species in fishery catch and bycatch

Over half of the rays and skates caught in Brazil belong to protected species, a DNA barcoding study shows.


Researchers identify genes linked to sex differentiation in giant Amazon fish
SDG 14
Researchers identify genes linked to sex differentiation in giant Amazon fish

Discoveries by Brazilian and German researchers may facilitate early sexing of pirarucu (arapaima) and its reproduction in captivity while also paving the way for genetic improvement.


News about research projects funded by FAPESP and articulated with the SDGs: