Spatial and temporal distribution of stream macroalgae in streams from southeastern Brazil were assessed for one year. The fluctuations in macroalgal species composition and environmental factors were monitored monthly. The region exhibit a tropical climate, with defined rainy and dry seasons. Nineteen species were found, with a predominance of Chlorophyta (52.7% of the species), followed by Cyanobacteria (26.3%), Ochrophyta and Rhodophyta (10.5% each). Scytonema arcangeli had the highest number of records (63.6%), while Mougeotia capucina occurred in all sampling sites. Community structure had low similarity (20-26%) and the environmental factors showed a weak contribution to the distribution pattern observed. Despite this, the light availability at the stream-bed seems to be a major influence on the macroalgal seasonal dynamics. We suggest that macroalgae communities are predominantly composed of rare species, and this could explain the lack of a clear spatial and temporal variation pattern of these organisms.
species distribution; spatial variation; temporal dynamics; stream macroalgae; rarity