Guilherme O. Longo
Department of Oceanography and Limnology/ Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte
Trophic interactions are critical to the structure and functioning of ecosystems, altering species' density and biomass across different trophic levels. The intensity and composition of trophic interactions can be influenced by multiple factors across different spatial scales and have important consequences to ecosystem functioning. At the scale of centimeters, prey nutritional quality or chemical defenses can shape the identity of predators and predation intensity; at the habitat scale (hundreds of meters), different tolerance levels to harsh abiotic conditions can result in predation refugees; at large spatial scales (hundreds of kilometers), temperature can interfere on predator’s metabolic demand and influence its trophic interactions; and at latitudinal scales (thousands of kilometers), these ecological factors meet biogeography, for example through different taxonomic composition of the assemblages. In this talk I will give an overview of our recent efforts on trophic interactions in reef ecosystems in the Western Atlantic aiming to facilitate the establishment of new partnerships with IFREMER staff.