Spatial variations at different observational scales and the seasonal distributions of stream macroalgae in a Brazilian subtropical region

We examined the relationships between environmental variations in lotic ecosystems with the seasonal dynamics of macroalgae communities at different spatial scales: drainage basin of two rivers (Rio das Pedras and Rio Marrecas), shading (open and shaded stream segments), mesohabitat (riffles and pools), and microhabitats. Data collections were made on a monthly basis between January and December/2007. A total of 16 taxa were encountered (13 species and 3 vegetative groups). All of the biotic parameters (richness, abundance, diversity, equitability, and dominance) were found to be highly variable at all of the spatial scales evaluated. On the other hand, abiotic variables demonstrated differences only at mesohabitat (in terms of current velocity) and shaded habitat (in terms of irradiance) scales. The seasonality of the macroalgae community structure was strongly influenced by microhabitat variables (current velocity, substrate H', and irradiance), demonstrating their importance over time and at different scales. Regional variables (temperature, oxygen saturation, specific conductance, pH, and turbidity) were found to have little influence on the temporal dynamics of the macroalgae communities evaluated.

heterogeneity; macroalgae; seasonal variations; stream

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