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Acta Limnologica Brasiliensia

On-line version ISSN 2179-975X


BONECKER, Claudia Costa; AZEVEDO, Fábio de  and  SIMOES, Nadson Ressyé. Zooplankton body-size structure and biomass in tropical floodplain lakes: relationship with planktivorous fishes. Acta Limnol. Bras. [online]. 2011, vol.23, n.3, pp.217-228.  Epub Feb 16, 2012. ISSN 2179-975X.

AIM: This study evaluated whether the size structure of the zooplankton community, as analyzed from density and biomass, would be influenced by bottom-up and/or top-down mechanisms in isolated lakes from the Upper Paraná River floodplain during dry and rainy periods. METHODS: zooplankton individuals were classified as: smaller-sized (<300 µm), intermediate-sized (301 to 600 µm) and larger-sized (greater than 601 µm). Fish abundance was indexed by the capture per unit effort (CPUE; number of individuals.100 m-2). Productivity was measured as chlorophyll-a. RESULTS: The size structure of the community did not show significant relationship with chlorophyll-a concentration (p > 0.05), but it was associated to the increase in fish density during the dry season. The percentage of individuals with intermediate sizes (301 to 600 µm), in both biomass and density, was positively related to the fish density (R2 = 0.78 for biomass, p < 0.001; R2 = 0.58 for density, p = 0.02), indicating an increase numerical and mass of this size class with fish density. The percentage of larger-sized individuals (>600 µm), in both biomass (R2 = 0.86, p < 0.001) and density (R2 = 0.69, p = 0.02) was negatively associated to the fish density, reflecting a decrease of this size class with the increase of fish in the environment. CONCLUSIONS: This can implicate a direct and negative effect of the predation on larger-sized individuals, as well as indirect and positive effect on the intermediate-sized individuals, but it occurred only on dry season. Thus, different mechanisms act on the size structure of the zooplankton community between dry and rainy season.

Keywords : predation; seasonal variation; fishes; shallow lakes; zooplankton body length.

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