Diel density variation of amphipods associated with Sargassum beds from two shores of Ubatuba, Southeastern, Brazil

Variação ao longo do dia na densidade de anfípodos associados a bancos de Sargassum em duas praias de Ubatuba, SP, Brasil

Densities of mobile epifaunal assemblages associated with macrophytes are very variable during the day and the activity of visually-oriented predators is thought to have an important influence on this pattern. Here we compared densities of amphipods associated with a common brown alga, Sargassum stenophyllum (Phaeophyceae), at sites contrasting in water turbidity. We expected that diel variation of amphipods would occur in a shore with clear waters (Perequê), whereas no variation was expected in a shore with turbid waters (Lamberto). Amphipod density varied during the day at both shores, with no indication of a larger variation at Perequê. Most species showed two density peaks, one at night and the other in the afternoon. These peaks occurred close the times of high tide, suggesting that tidal rhythms could influence more amphipod densities than the activity of predators. Thus, more studies are necessary to understand factors that influence short-term variation of epifaunal assemblages.

Diel variation; amphipods; Sargassum

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