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Acta Limnologica Brasiliensia

On-line version ISSN 2179-975X


COLLING, Leonir André; BEMVENUTI, Carlos Emilio  and  PINOTTI, Raphael Mathias. Temporal variability of the bivalve Erodona mactroides BOSC, 1802 during and after the El Niño phenomenon (2002/2003) in a subtropical lagoon, southern Brazil. Acta Limnol. Bras. (Online) [online]. 2010, vol.22, n.4, pp.410-423. ISSN 2179-975X.

AIM: The aim of this work was to study the relationships between temporal variability of Erodona mactroides and abiotic parameters of the water column and the substrate in a shallow embayment of the Patos Lagoon estuarine region in southern Brazil; METHODS: Samples were taken with a PVC corer (10 cm diameter) buried 10 cm into the sediment between October 2002 and December 2004. Each month 18 biologic samples were taken, six substrate samples were analyzed for sediment grain size and organic matter content and sediment deposition rates were determined by 12 sediment traps every two weeks. Salinity, water temperature, water level and estuarine freshwater discharge were measured daily. Abiotic parameters and bivalve densities were tested among months with registered mortality events by ANOVA (One-way, p = 0.05), being the E. mactroides seasonal variability tested by Kruskal-Wallis (p = 0.05). Regression analyses among abiotic parameters and Spearman's "R" correlation analyses between biological and environmental data were both performed; RESULTS: Two periods were identified with distinct features: one at the beginning of the study when observed limnetic conditions in the estuarine region were caused by the ENSO - El Niño 2002/2003 phenomenon when an absence of E. mactroides was registered as well as a higher percentages of fine sediments and lower percentages of organic matter. The second period was characterized by a decreasing influence of the El Niño and predominance of mixohaline conditions, recruitments and increasing densities of E. mactroides with a successive decrease of mean densities due to three mortality events, lower percentages of fine sediments and higher percentages of organic matter; CONCLUSIONS: The present study provides evidences that the occurrence of E. mactroides in the southern estuarine region depends on the water flow regime from the drainage basin, which characterizes species recruitment as temporally unpredictable and affects its persistence through time due to adverse conditions that influence species development like events of fine sediment deposition.

Keywords : Erodona mactroides; recruitment; El Niño; estuary; Patos Lagoon.

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