A contribution to the taxonomy of the non-marine Ostracoda (Crustacea) of the Parana River floodplain (2010, 2012)
Further studies on the taxonomy of non-marine ostracods (Crustacea) from Brazilian inland waters (2013)
2010 & 2012 internships:
The Upper Paraná River floodplain (Brazil) extends for about 230km and is a biodiversity hotspot in Brazil. It consists of 4 separate riverine systems and comprises 3 conservation units. The most remarkable biotic communities in this floodplain are those associated with the root systems of floating plants, the so-called pleuston. Ostracoda (Crustacea) abound in the pleuston of most floating plant species. As they are sensitive to water quality, they could act as an early–warning sentinel group for ecosystem deterioration. However, the taxonomy of Ostracoda is still ill-known, which hampers species level analyses.
The present project has clearly identified goals, which will solve several of the remaining taxonomic problems and will allow the creation of an identification atlas of this group. Dr Higuti will receive training in taxonomy and collection management and will be assisted in commencing ostracod studies. She will transfer her knowledge through her position at the university.
Close to 300 species of recent non-marine ostracods have been described and reported from South America and more than 100 species are known from Brazil. Recent work on the Upper Paraná River floodplain has contributed significantly to the general knowledge of ecology and biogeography of Brazilian freshwater ostracods, especially those occurring in the pleuston of floating plants. During the previous GTI projects (2010, 2012), several new species and genera have been described, while other species from lakes, river beds and channels of the Upper Paraná floodplain were redescribed. Some taxonomic work on species of Candonidae and Cypridopsinae remains to be done, but major progress has been made in other groups during the previous GTI projects. Material has been prepared for the completion of at least two other taxonomic papers; while all valve illustrations will be incorporated in the identification atlas of non-marine ostracods of Brazilian floodplains, which will be submitted for publication in the book series AbcTaxa.