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Brazilian Journal of Biology

Print version ISSN 1519-6984On-line version ISSN 1678-4375


ARAUJO, F. G.  and  SANTOS, L. N.. Distribution of fish assemblages in Lajes Reservoir, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Braz. J. Biol. [online]. 2001, vol.61, n.4, pp.563-576. ISSN 1519-6984.

Spatial distribution of fish assemblages in Lajes Reservoir, a 30 km2 impoundment in Rio de Janeiro State (Lat. 22o42'-22o50'S; Long. 43o53'-44o05'W) was assessed to detect patterns of available habitat use by the fish. A standardized monthly sampling program was carried out from January to December 1994 at three zones of the reservoir (upper, near tributary mouths; middle; and lower, near the dam). Fishes were caught by gillnets, (50 m long, 3 m height), with mesh ranging having from 25 to 45 mm between knots, submerged during 12 hours. A total of 5,089 fishes were collected comprising 15 species, 14 genera and 9 families. Loricariichthys spixii, Astyanax bimaculatus, Parauchenipterus striatulus, Astyanax fasciatus parahybae, Oligosarchus hepsetus, Rhamdia parahybae, Hypostomus affinis, and Geophagus brasiliensis were the most abundant species, each contributing above 1% of the total number. Loricariichthys spixii was the dominant species, contributing over 80% of total number and biomass. Fish abundance, number of species, and biomass were higher in the upper zone, but differences from this overall pattern were shown by some species. Loricariichthys spixii and Rhamdia parahybae were more abundant in the upper zone, while all other species showed no differences in their abundance among the zones. Seasonal environmental variables of temperature, pH, transparency, and water level did not show a clear association with fish occurrence. Most fish used the different zones of the reservoir with no clear sign of spatial separation. High dominance of L. spixii, reduced abundance of reolific species Leporinus copelandii and Cyphocharax gilberti, and presence of introduced species such as Cichla monoculus and Tilapia rendalli are indications of antropic effects in the fish community.

Keywords : reservoirs; fish community; freshwater fishes; spatial distribution; ichthyofauna.

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