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Brazilian Journal of Oceanography

versão impressa ISSN 1679-8759


MARIANO-JELICICH, Rocío; GARCIA, Germán  e  FAVERO, Marco. Fish composition and prey utilization of the black skimmer (Rynchops niger) in mar Chiquita coastal lagoon, Argentina. Braz. j. oceanogr. [online]. 2014, vol.62, n.1, pp.1-10. ISSN 1679-8759.

Lagoons along the western coast of the South Atlantic Ocean shelter high densities of juvenile fish and are key areas for several seabirds that rely on the resources offered by this kind of ecosystem. The objective of this study was to analyze fish composition and abundance in shallow-water areas of the estuarine region of Mar Chiquita Coastal Lagoon (Argentina) and the diet composition of the Black skimmer (Rynchops niger) during its non-breeding season as well as evaluating its inter-annual variations. Fish were sampled with a beach-seine net and the skimmers' diet was analyzed from their pellets. The estuarine-dependent marine fishes were the best represented bio-ecological category followed by freshwater fishes. Significant differences were observed in fish abundance and composition between and within years. Species richness was higher during the summer season and during the first year sampled. The occurrence of freshwater fishes as an important and diverse group of the Mar Chiquita estuarine area contrasted with previous reports. The diet of the Black skimmer included freshwater, estuarine and marine fish species. Skimmers forage in the shallow waters of the estuarine area of the Mar Chiquita Coastal lagoon though little similarity was observed between its diet and local fish abundance. These results emphasize the importance of performing these evaluations in order to improve the quality of studies and the interpretations of top predators foraging ecology.

Palavras-chave : Argentina; biodiversity; coastal lagoon; fish abundance; diet of seabirds; predator-prey relationship.

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