The flood pulse is a key factor that drives the biota of large rivers with adjacent floodplains, but the direction and intensity of its effects are not uniform for all trophic guilds of fish. In this study, we tested the existence of intra- and inter-annual changes in the relative condition factors (kn) of three Curimatidae: Potamorhina altamazonica, Potamorhina latior, and Psectrogaster rutiloides. We used weight and length data from fish that were caught in eight floodplain lakes of the Rio Solimões. These data were from experimental fisheries during each season of the hydrological cycle: flooding, flood, drying, and dry from 2004, 2005, and 2006. In general, there are similar patterns of intra-annual changes for these three species, with the highest estimates of kn during high water conditions. The lowest values were observed during the drying and dry seasons of 2005, when an extreme drought occurred in the Amazon basin. Higher values were observed during the same seasons in the year post-drought. We hypothesized that these patterns would be explained by the biological characteristics of these species and the effects of intra-annual hydrological changes, mainly the flood pulse effect, and by inter-annual climatic events, which are determined by global climate phenomena.
Weight-length relationship; Curimatidae; environmental effects; relative condition factor; floodplain lakes