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Paloma Marinho Lopes

Dr. Paloma Marinho Lopes

School of Natural Sciences (Zoology Building)
Trinity College Dublin
Dublin 2






Research interests

I am an aquatic ecologist interested in how biodiversity patterns are shaped by local and regional processes. In my Masters and PhD, I studied how zooplankton metacommunities in tropical lakes are affected by environmental heterogeneity, spatial connectivity patterns, disturbance and by the dispersal ability of organisms. To address these questions I mainly used data from field studies in different regions of Brazil (e.g, Amazonian floodplain lakes, Amazonian upland lakes, subtropical temporary pools and permanent coastal lakes). I also used mesocosm experimental studies to evaluate the relative importance of resting egg bank recruitment and overland dispersal in the re-establishment of zooplankton communities in subtropical temporary coastal pools.

Current projects

Does phylogenetic niche conservatism result in a gradient of competitive interaction strength in Daphnia?

The phylogenetic niche conservatism hypothesis (PNC) suggests that closely related species compete more strongly than more distant relatives because they tend to have more similar niches. PNC has been corroborated mainly for organisms with different feeding niches. We expect that niche conservatism may yield different results in other situations. For example, non-selective filter feeders are unlikely to show strong niche segregation at the level of food uptake, while they may still show a phylogenetic signal in their metabolism. If more closely related species show more similar metabolic efficiencies, competitive ability may be more similar for closely than for distantly related species, resulting in less intensive competition interactions. My project aims to test these predictions using Daphnia as a model organism for generalist, non-selective filter feeders. This project is in collaboration with Dr. Steven Declerck from the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW, Wagenigen, The Netherlands).

Selected publications

Farjalla VF, Srivastava D, Marino NAC, Aazevedo FD, Lopes PM, Dib V, Rosado AS, Bozelli RL & Esteves FA (2012). Ecological determinism increases with organism size. Ecology 93: 1752-1759.

Lopes PM, Caliman A, Carneiro LS, Bini LM, Esteves FA, Farjalla VF & Bozelli RL (2011). Concordance among assemblages of upland Amazonian lakes and the structuring role of spatial and environmental factors. Ecological Indicators 11: 1171-1176.

Last updated 25 April 2014 by