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Revista Brasileira de Entomologia

versão impressa ISSN 0085-5626versão On-line ISSN 1806-9665

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TAMARIS-TURIZO, Cesar E.; PINILLA-A, Gabriel A.  e  MUNOZ, Isabel. Trophic network of aquatic macroinvertebrates along an altitudinal gradient in a Neotropical mountain river. Rev. Bras. entomol. [online]. 2018, vol.62, n.3, pp.180-187. ISSN 0085-5626.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rbe.2018.07.003.

Studies of trophic networks and the evaluation of processes that occur along altitudinal gradients in river systems are of great importance because they allow an understanding of energy flow dynamics and provide scientific tools for the planning and management of river ecosystems. This research describes the trophic network of aquatic macroinvertebrates along an altitudinal gradient of the Gaira River, a mountain Neotropical watercourse located in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in northern Colombia. The organisms were collected in the upper, middle and lower reaches of the river during the rainy and dry seasons (between 2010 and 2013). Trophic relationships were evaluated through gut content analysis. The contents were determined and quantified using photographs and expert review, and a binary consumption matrix was used to determine the characteristics of the trophic network. We characterized the diet composition at each site for each season using discriminant analysis. Trophic networks during the dry seasons showed higher trophic species richness and linkage density, and the predominance of coarse particulate organic matter (CPOM) and fine particulate organic matter (FPOM) in the high and medium sections of the river. During the dry seasons the diets had a lower number of basal species, but in the low river section there was a high percentage of fungi and microalgae. During the rainy seasons, no patterns were observed for the percentage of resources. Results indicated a direct relation between periods of hydrologic stability and an increase of CPOM during dry seasons and an increase of resource diversity consumed by macroinvertebrates at all sites during the rainy season, showing that changes in trophic networks of the Gaira River were more important during seasonal periods than along the altitudinal gradient.

Palavras-chave : Aquatic insects; Food chain length; Gaira River; Gut contents; Trophic relations.

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