Variation in the diet of a small characin according to the riparian zone coverage in an Atlantic Forest stream, northeastern Brazil

Variação na dieta de um pequeno Characidae de acordo com a cobertura da mata ripária em um riacho da Mata Atlântica, nordeste do Brasil

AIM: in this study we present data from the diet of Astyanax vermilion which were used as a tool to compare two sites of streams with different vegetation cover in Ribeirão Limoeiro, Cachoeira River Basin, BA. METHODS: Four samples were taken (March, June, September and December) using electrofishing as the collection method in two contiguous sites of the headwaters: stretch without riparian vegetation and with riparian vegetation. RESULTS: The qualitative composition of the diet was analyzed by the method of frequency of occurrence. The allochthonous resources of vegetal origin made up the bulk of the diet in the stretch without riparian vegetation with a frequency of occurrence of 64%. In the section with riparian vegetation allochthonous resources of animal origin made up the bulk of the diet with a frequency of 62%, which emphasizes the importance of food items from the surrounding environment. The mean Shannon diversity index, calculated from the frequency of occurrence of food items was significantly different (p = 0.04) when comparing reach deforested (H'= 1.44) with reach forested (H'= 1.80). The average weight of stomachs in the deforested reach (WS D = 0.18g) was significantly higher than that of the forested reach (WS F = 0.14g). CONCLUSIONS: in the stretch with riparian vegetation, the food diversity was greater and the fish that are in the riparian stretch do not need as much food to satisfy their physiological needs. These results underscore the importance of the type of riparian vegetation as a food source for fish

ambiente de cabeceira; sistemas lóticos; recursos alimentares; dependência espacial

Associação Brasileira de Limnologia Av. 24 A, 1515, 13506-900 Rio Claro-SP/Brasil, Tel.:(55 19)3526 4227 - Rio Claro - SP - Brazil