Effects of recurrent disturbances on the periphyton community downstream of a dammed watercourse

Efeitos de distúrbios sequenciais na comunidade perifítica à jusante de um curso de água represado

We evaluate experimentally the effect of a sequential disturbance—desiccation—on the structure and dynamics of a periphytic algal community in a semilotic environment of the Upper Paraná River floodplain. We tested the hypothesis that the presence of recurrent disturbances have a direct negative effect on the attributes of the periphyton community. The sequential effect of desiccation on the periphytic community promoted its significant decrease in density, while the same was not observed in species richness. When desiccation was induced in a mature community, there was no difference in the community compared to control. The sequential disturbances on the community of periphytic algae in a mature stage, was characterised by greater stability. It is believed that the effects of variation in water levels caused by upstream reservoirs can likewise also modify the structure and stability of periphytic algae in the Upper Paraná River floodplain.

disturbance; periphyton; desiccation; stability; floodplain

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