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Brazilian Journal of Biology
Print version ISSN 1519-6984
LANSAC-TOHA, FA. et al. Biodiversity of zooplankton communities in the Upper Paraná River floodplain: interannual variation from long-term studies. Braz. J. Biol. [online]. 2009, vol.69, n.2, suppl., pp. 539-549. ISSN 1519-6984. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1519-69842009000300009.
We investigated the effect of interannual variation of hydrosedimentological regime and connectivity on the zooplankton biodiversity in the Upper Paraná River floodplain. Zooplankton samplings were undertaken between 2000 and 2007, in different environments of the floodplain, including connected and isolated floodplain lakes, backwaters, rivers and channels. The zooplankton included 541 species. Rotifers showed the highest species richness and abundance. Among the zooplankton species, 71 represent new occurrence records for the floodplain. The species accumulation curve showed a continuous increase in gamma diversity, demonstrating the importance of long-term research for accurate knowledge of biodiversity in heterogeneous and dynamic ecosystems, such as the floodplains. Interannual beta diversity among studied years indicated a lesser alteration in community composition in 2001, when a long limnophase period was observed. In most of the environments, the highest species richness values were related to the greatest flooding amplitudes. Flooding amplitude, which is associated with connectivity, favors faunal exchange amongst the environments and between the pelagic and littoral zones. This explains the occurrence of both planktonic and non-planktonic species within the community. On the other hand, mean zooplankton abundance values were higher when a long isolation period occurred. Differences between the potamophase and limnophase amplitude associated with connectivity among the environments were the most important factors for the structure and dynamics of the zooplankton community in the Upper Paraná River floodplain.
Keywords : zooplankton; biodiversity; connectivity; interannual variation; floodplain.