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Neotropical Ichthyology

versão impressa ISSN 1679-6225


GIBRAN, Fernando Zaniolo. Habitat partitioning, habits and convergence among coastal nektonic fish species from the São Sebastião Channel, southeastern Brazil. Neotrop. ichthyol. [online]. 2010, vol.8, n.2, pp.299-310. ISSN 1679-6225.

Based on a fish survey and preliminary underwater observations, 17 "morphotypes" were identified that characterize the morphological diversity found within 27 nektonic fish species sampled at São Sebastião Channel. Such "morphotypes" were studied using an ecomorphological approach, with the intention to investigate similarities and differences in shape and habits. Underwater field observations were also performed, to verify if the lifestyle of these species, such as vertical occupation of the water column and the habitat use, are in accordance with their distribution in the morphospace. The results, complemented with data from scientific literature on the taxonomy and phylogenies of these species, allowed discussing some of the typical cases of convergent and divergent evolution. Some of the ecomorphological clusters had no phylogenetic support although this is probably due to the environmental conditions in which theirs members have evolved. The body shape and fins positions of a fish clearly influence its ecological performance and habitat use, corroborating the ecomorphological hypothesis on the intimate link between phenotype and ecology.

Palavras-chave : Body form; Fins shape; Fins position; Pelagic fishes; Ecomorphology.

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