Marine and coastal biodiversity studies, 60 years of research funding from FAPESP, what we have learned and future challenges
AbstractAbstract In this study we survey and analyze 300 projects related to marine biodiversity funded by FAPESP from 1972 to 2021, of which 46 were nested in the BIOTA Program. From a unique project in the 1970’s, the number gradually increased until 2009, when BIOTA promoted a call on marine biodiversity, which led to a boost in the number of funded projects in the subsequent years. The geographical range of the projects expanded over the years and, from studies based on the coast of São Paulo State, the focus gradually shifted to broader areas of the Brazilian coast, then to other areas of the Atlantic, and eventually became global. The majority of projects focused on coastal benthic organisms living on hard-bottom. In terms of taxa, six groups accounted for about 60% of the projects (viz. Crustacea, Actinopterygii, Mollusca, Chondrichthyes, Cnidaria, and Rhodophyta), but it is observed an increase in the number of groups studied over the decades. The 300 projects refer to a set of 82 different topics, of which the top five are taxonomy, phylogeny, community, “omics”, and pollution. The analyses show a long-standing effort in marine biodiversity surveys, with ongoing updated approaches regarding scope and methods. Research on strategic areas is discussed, including deep-sea and marine microbiota. Climate change and the increasing pressure of human activity on the ocean, including pollution, acidification and invasive species, are among the main challenges for the future. Projects producing and using basic research data in an integrative and transdisciplinary way offer multiple perspectives in understanding changes in ecosystem functioning and, consequently, are essential to support public policies for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity at different scales. UNESCO’s Decade of Ocean (starting 2021) is a window of opportunity to strengthen marine research, to promote national and international collaboration, to build up networks involving the public and private sector, but particularly to draw society’s attention to the importance of knowing marine environments and using ocean resources in a sustainable way. The advancement of ocean literacy is one of the main legacies for future generations promoted by integrated research programs such as BIOTA-FAPESP.
How to Cite
Marques, A. C., Migotto, A. E., Kitahara, M. V., Dias, G. M., Costa, T. M., & Oliveira, M. C. (2022). Marine and coastal biodiversity studies, 60 years of research funding from FAPESP, what we have learned and future challenges. Biota Neotropica, 22(spe). https://doi.org/10.1590/1676-0611-bn-2022-1385