Fish Assemblages of Tropical Floodplain Lagoons
Ana Cristina Petry, Angelo Antonio Agostinho and Luiz Carlos Gomes. 2003. Fish assemblages of tropical floodplain lagoons: exploring the role of connectivity in a dry year. Neotropical Ichthyology, 1(2):111-119.
Irregular rainfall and pronounced reductions of the hydrometric level in the year 2000 resulted in drastically altered hydrological connectivity of lentic environments in the upper Paraná River floodplain. The objective of the present work was to examine spatial and temporal patterns of fish assemblage attributes and structure in relation to limnological variables associated with hydrological connectivity. Fish were collected quarterly by seining in the marginal areas of 15 lagoons belonging to two biotopic categories (connected and disconnected). Variation in assemblage composition reflected the degree of hydrological connectivity. Values of assemblage attributes (species richness, density and biomass) were significantly lower in connected lagoons than in disconnected lagoons. Significantly higher values of species richness and biomass were recorded in November than in August. Rare species had the greatest effect on observed patterns in fish assemblage ordination (DCA). Observed patterns of variation in assemblage attributes were directly correlated with factors related to hydrological connectivity, such as depth, resources (zooplankton and chlorophyll a) and nutrients (total phosphorus).