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Zoologia (Curitiba)

Print version ISSN 1984-4670

Abstract

SANTOS, Alex Braz Iacone; TERRA, Bianca de Freitas  and  ARAUJO, Francisco Gerson. Influence of the river flow on the structure of fish assemblage along the longitudinal gradient from river to reservoir. Zoologia (Curitiba, Impr.) [online]. 2010, vol.27, n.5, pp.732-740. ISSN 1984-4670.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1984-46702010000500010.

Changes in fish assemblage structure along a longitudinal gradient of the Paraíba do Sul River and Funil reservoir were studied to detect distribution patterns and the seasonal influence of the inflowing river. Fish were caught by gill nets in three zones (riverine, transition and lentic) during two seasons (dry and wet). A total of 3,721 individuals were captured, comprising five orders, 14 families, 27 genera and 33 species. Five species were non-native and amounted to 17.7% of the total number of individuals. The 10 most abundant species were used to assess spatial-temporal patterns. Plagioscion squamosissimus (Heckel, 1840), Oligosarcus hepsetus (Curvier, 1829) and Metynnis maculatus (Kner, 1858) were widely distributed in both seasons. Astyanax bimaculatus (Linnaeus, 1758), Cichla kelberi Kullander & Ferreira, 2006 and Geophagus brasiliensis (Quoy & Gaimard, 1824) had higher abundance in the dry season, occurring mainly in the lentic zone. By contrast, the benthopelagics Pimelodus maculatus La Cèpede, 1803 and Astyanax parahybae (Eigenmann, 1908) and the benthics Hoplosternum littorale (Hancock, 1828) and Hypostomus auroguttatus Kner, 1854 had higher abundance in the wet season, with the two first species occurring mainly in the riverine zone, and latter two species in the transition zone. The highest diversity for both seasons was recorded in the transition zone, which is an ecotone that allows the co-existence of both riverine and lentic species. A major shift in assemblage structure occurred along the longitudinal gradient due to changes in discharge of the inflowing river, with increased fish abundance in the riverine zone caused by increased habitat availability in wet season, and the reverse of this situation in the dry season.

Keywords : Dam; fish diversity; Paraíba do Sul River; seasonality.

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