Brazilian Journal of Biology
Print version ISSN 1519-6984
SUZUKI, HI. et al. Inter-annual variations in the abundance of young-of-the-year of migratory fishes in the Upper Paraná River floodplain: relations with hydrographic attributes. Braz. J. Biol. [online]. 2009, vol.69, n.2, suppl., pp. 649-660. ISSN 1519-6984. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1519-69842009000300019.
In this study, we identified and characterized the hydrographic attributes related to the success of recruitment of migratory fishes in the Upper Paraná River floodplain. To achieve our objectives, we analyzed inter-annual variations in the abundance of young-of-the-year (YOY; index of recruitment) of six migratory species and their relations with hydrographic attributes. Recruitment was related to the intensity, duration (in different fluviometrical levels), elasticity, number of pulses, greater uninterrupted overflow and delay of the floods (all obtained using the PULSO software). Collections of fish were conducted in the period between January 1987 and November 2007 in distinct environments (river channels, secondary channels and connected and disconnected floodplain lakes) distributed along three subsystems (Paraná, Baía and Ivinheima). Relations between recruitment and the attributes of interest were determined through analysis of covariance. In the studied period, the highest abundances of YOY were registered in 2007, followed by 1992, 1993, 2005 and 1988. The abundance of YOY was positively correlated with an intensity of high water levels (potamophase) and the duration of potamophase 1 and negatively with the duration of low water levels (limnophase) and a delay of flood. Higher hydrometric levels (540 and 610 cm for Paraná and 325 and 450 cm for Ivinheima) and greatest uninterrupted overflow presented different relations (significant interactions) among subsystems, but all with positive effects on recruitment. Results evidenced that recruitment responded better when floods started in January with potamophase intensities above 610 cm and water levels above 450 cm over a period of 50 days and repeated every two years (or > 610 cm for 38 days and repeated every two or three years). Therefore, artificial control of the floods at intervals of two or three years by manipulating the discharge of dams located upstream from the floodplain in a way that promotes potamophases with the potential to ensure recruitment of migratory species may become an important tool for conservation of migratory fish species in the floodplain.
Keywords : recruitment; discharge regulation; flood; Ivinheima River; Paraná River.