Spatio-temporal and functional structure of the amphipod communities off Santos, Southwestern Atlantic

Carina Waiteman Rodrigues Ana Maria Setubal Pires-Vanin About the authors

Abstracts

The amphipod fauna was employed to investigate a bottom environmental gradient in the continental shelf adjacent to Santos Bay. The constant flow of less saline water from the estuarine complex of the Santos and São Vicente rivers besides the seasonal intrusion of the cold saline South Atlantic Central Water (SACW) bring a highly dynamic water regime to the area. Density, distribution, diversity and functional structure of the communities were studied on a depth gradient from 10 to 100 m on two cruises in contrasting seasons, winter 2005 and summer 2006. Twenty-one sediment samples were taken with a 0.09m² box corer. Temperature and salinity were measured at each station and an additional surface sediment sample was obtained with the box corer for granulometric and chemical analyses. Sixty species were collected on each survey and higher density values were found in summer. A priori one-way Analysis of Similarities (ANOSIM) indicated the existence of three different groups of amphipods related to the depth gradient: the Coastal group, the Mixed Zone group and the Deep Zone group. The Coastal Zone in both cruises was inhabited by a community presenting low diversity and density, besides high dominance of the infaunal tube-dweller Ampelisca paria; the area around 30 m presented the highest values of all the ecological indicators and the species showed several life styles; the outer area, situated between 50 and 100 m depth in the SACW domain, presented a community characterized by lower diversity and high biomass and density values. A season-depth ANOSIM showed the influence of depth and season for the Coastal and Mixed Zone groups whereas no seasonal difference was obtained for the Deep Zone group. The synergistic effect of the SACW and depth in the first place, followed by physical changes in substrate, seem to be the main factors controlling the fauna's distribution. In addition, the estuarine waters from Santos Bay apparently had no effect on the establishment of the environmental gradient observed on the adjacent shelf. Diversity, distribution, functional groups and trophic conditions of superficial sediments are discussed in the light of the main oceanographic processes present on the southern Brazilian shelf.

Amphipod communities; Life style distribution; Southern Brazilian shelf; Baixada Santista


A fauna de anfípodes foi empregada para investigar o gradiente ambiental na plataforma continental adjacente a Baía de Santos. A entrada constante de uma água menos salina proveniente do complexo estuarino de Santos e São Vicente e a intrusão sazonal da água fria e salina da Água Central do Atlântico Sul (ACAS) faz com que a área seja um ambiente hidrodinamicamente instável. Densidade, distribuição, diversidade e estrutura funcional das comunidades de anfípodes foram estudadas em um gradiente de profundidade entre 10 e 100 m, em dois cruzeiros realizados em épocas contrastantes, inverno (2005) e verão (2006). Vinte e uma amostras de sedimento foram coletadas com um box corer de 0,09 m². Temperatura e salinidade foram coletadas em cada estação com CTD e uma amostra adicional de sedimento superficial foi obtida com box corer para análises granulométricas e químicas. Sessenta espécies estiveram presentes em ambos os cruzeiros e altos valores de densidade foram encontrados especialmente no verão. A Análise de Similaridade (ANOSIM) realizada a priori indicou a existência de três grupos diferentes de anfípodes relacionados ao gradiente de profundidade: um grupo Costeiro, um grupo da Zona de Mistura e um grupo da Zona Profunda. A zona Costeira, em ambos os cruzeiros foi habitada por uma comunidade que apresenta baixa diversidade e densidade, além de alta dominância do tubícola infaunal Ampelisca paria; a área em torno de 30 m apresentou os maiores valores de todos os indicadores ecológicos e as espécies de anfípodes mostraram grande diversidade funcional; a área externa, entre 50 e 100 m de profundidade e no domínio da ACAS, apresentou uma comunidade caracterizada por baixa diversidade e altos valores de biomassa. A ANOSIM sazonal-profundidade mostrou diferença sazonal significativa para os grupos Costeiros e da Zona de Mistura, enquanto que para o grupo da Zona Profunda não foi encontrada diferença temporal significativa. O efeito sinérgico da ACAS e da profundidade em primeiro lugar, seguido pelas mudanças físicas do substrato, parecem ser os principais fatores controladores da distribuição da fauna. As águas estuarinas provenientes da Baía de Santos aparentemente não tiveram efeito no estabelecimento do gradiente ambiental observado na plataforma adjacente. Diversidade, distribuição dos grupos funcionais, condições tróficas dos sedimentos superficiais, além de outros aspectos ecológicos das comunidades são discutidos à luz dos processos oceanográficos dominantes na plataforma sudeste brasileira.

Comunidades de anfípodes; Distribuição do modo de vida; Plataforma do sul do Brasil; Baixada Santista


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Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    30 Oct 2012
  • Date of issue
    Sept 2012

History

  • Received
    21 May 2012
  • Accepted
    03 Sept 2012
  • Reviewed
    01 Sept 2012
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