Trophic ecology of the ichthyofauna of a stretch of the Urucu River (Coari, Amazonas, Brazil)

Ecologia trófica da ictiofauna de um trecho do rio Urucu (Coari, Amazonas, Brasil)

INTRODUCTION: The floodplains of the large Amazonian rivers are very productive as a result of seasonal fluctuations of water levels. This favors the fishes as they are provided with a wide range of habitats and food resources; AIM: In this study, we identified the trophic structure of fish assemblages in the upper river Urucu area (State of Amazonas - Brazil), observing seasonal changes determined by the hydrological cycle; Methods: Samples were collected with the aid of gillnets, during the flood season (April/2008) and the dry season (August/2008) in areas upstream and downstream of ports of the Urucu river within the municipality of Coari, Amazonas, Brazil; RESULTS: 902 individuals of seven orders, 23 families and 82 species were collected. Fishes were more abundant in the dry season than in the flood season, and the piscivores and carnivores (Serrasalumus rhombeus and Osteoglossum bicirrhosum) were the most significant trophic categories in the dry season whereas piscivores and insectivores (Serrasalumus rhombeus, Bryconops alburnoides and Dianema urostriatum) were more abundant in the flood season. The trophic diversity, dominance and evenness were very similar in all sampling periods and show lower values than taxonomic index patterns, except for the trophic dominance in the dry season. Taxonomic diversity and dominance were higher in the flood season if compared to the dry season, but figures were quite uniform and there were no great discrepancies between seasons. CONCLUSION: We found through our studies that the dry and flood seasons work as regulatory factors of abundance of fishes of certain trophic categories in the Urucu river, what can be possibly explained by the availability of resources and the food spectrum of each category.

feeding habits; Amazon; fish; Urucu river; hydrological cycle

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