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Acta Amazonica

Print version ISSN 0044-5967

Acta Amaz. vol.42 no.4 Manaus  2012


Amazonian flooded forests have higher fish species diversity at night



A group of researchers from the Universidade Federal do Amazonas – UFAM and Washington and Lee University – WLU studied the use of flooded forest by fishes in Amazonian black water lakes. They observed that species diversity was generally higher in flooded forests and at night. Predators were most active at night but showed no preference between the flooded forest and open water habitats. Omnivores, filter feeders, and detritivores were most active during the day.

The researchers conducted this study in the lakes of the Anavilhanas National Park located in the inferior stretch of the Rio Negro, approximately 40 km upstream of Manaus, Amazonas. Fish samplings were conducted in September 2009, June 2010, and July 2010.

The article was published in Acta Amazonica (Vol. 42, n.2) and is believed by the authors to be the first insight that addresses the hypothesis of diversity mediated by spatial heterogeneity in black water lakes from Amazon basin.

Studies of fish assemblages in Amazonian black-water environments have mainly focused on the composition and structure of these communities, but none describe the use of habitats inside this type of environment. Therefore, the researchers developed this study with the following objectives: (a) to identify which fish species utilize the flooded forest and which utilize the open water (b) to compare the use of the two types of environments by fish species during diurnal and nocturnal periods and (c) to compare trophic levels of fish that show preference for habitat and/or time of activity.
CNPq and “Fundação O Boticário de Proteção a Natureza” were responsible for supporting the research.


Janete Noveras - Washington and Lee University
Kedma C Universidade Federal do Amazonas
Carlos EC Freitas - Universidade Federal do Amazonas


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