TRENDS AND GAPS IN SCIENTIFIC PRODUCTION ON FRESHWATER SPONGES

Marcelo Rodrigues Freitas de Oliveira, Cintia da Costa, Evanilde Benedito

Abstract


Researchers working with freshwater sponges are faced with old, unresolved issues and fragmented knowledge. In the present study, a systematic search of the studies on continental sponges, from the 21st century, was carried out to identify trends and gaps in this restricted area of knowledge, using the scientific productions available on the Web of Science. The publication of scientific papers involving studies with freshwater sponges has increased over the years, with a decline in the last two years (2016-2017). The focus of the Brazilian studies included taxonomy and ecology, while Russian researchers contributed with knowledge about the genetic, phylogenetic and molecular biology of endemic sponges of the region. Eight sub disciplines were identified: Biochemistry and Physiology, Genetics and Phylogenetics, Cellular and Developmental Biology, Taxonomy and Morphology, Ecology, Paleontology and Anthropology, Biotechnology and Materials Science and Human Health. It was concluded that freshwater sponges still deserve a significant effort in the elucidation of taxonomic issues, the realization of biodiversity inventories and research in the different lines of knowledge, aiming at their biotechnological potential.

 

Tendências e lacunas da produção científica sobre esponjas de água doce

Pesquisadores que se dedicam à investigação das esponjas de água doce se deparam com antigas questões ainda não resolvidas e com conhecimentos muito dispersos. No presente estudo, foi realizada uma busca sistemática dos estudos sobre esponjas continentais, a partir do século XXI, com o intuito de identificar tendências e lacunas desta restrita área do conhecimento, utilizando as produções científicas disponíveis na plataforma Web of Science. Apesar das publicações de trabalhos científicos envolvendo estudos com esponjas de água doce terem aumentado ao longo dos anos, houve um declínio nos últimos dois anos (2016-17). O enfoque dos estudos brasileiros compreendeu a taxonomia e a ecologia, enquanto que pesquisadores russos contribuíram com o conhecimento acerca da genética, filogenética e biologia molecular de esponjas endêmicas da região. Foram identificadas oito áreas do conhecimento, compreendidas como diferentes áreas de interesse na investigação utilizando esponjas de água doce: Bioquímica e Fisiologia, Genética e Filogenética, Biologia Celular e do Desenvolvimento, Taxonomia e Morfologia, Ecologia, Paleontologia e Antropologia, Biotecnologia e Ciência dos Materiais e Saúde Humana. Conclui-se que as esponjas de água doce ainda merecem um esforço significativo na elucidação de questões taxonômicas, realização de inventários de biodiversidade e pesquisas nas diferentes linhas do conhecimento, visando um aproveitamento biotecnológico das mesmas.


Keywords


Taxonomy; Ecology Demospongiae; Spongillida; continental sponges

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References


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