Adjacent environments contribute in the increase of zooplankton species in a neotropical river

Francieli de Fátima Bomfim, Tatiane Mantovano, Diogo Castanho Amaral, Weliton Sousa Palhiarini, Claudia Costa Bonecker, Fábio Amodêo Lansac-Tôha


Abstract: Objective: We evaluated the distribution of the zooplankton community along the Paraná River and in adjacent environments (tributaries and lakes), as well as the contribution of the community present in these environments for the species composition of the Paraná River. We expect the ensemble of species found in the last sampling site of the Paraná River represents the accumulation of species found in the upstream sites. Methods: We sampled the community in 24 sites, during 2013 and 2014. We determined species richness and composition. We evaluated the similarity in the composition of the community between the environments through a Cluster analysis, and the contribution of the species to the Paraná River through a nestedness analysis, using the NODF index. Results: We registered 193 species (166 rotifers, 48 cladocerans and 29 copepods), with the majority of species considered as rare (163 species). In general, the composition of the community in the river was dissimilar to the adjacent environments, although there is a relation between communities. Rotifers presented broad distribution throughout the area. As expected, the zooplanktonic species presented nested distribution, with the last river site representing a subset of the species registered in the upstream sites. Conclusion: Our results show the importance of the tributaries and lakes to the occurrence of species along the river. The distinct hydrological characteristics of the environments, as well as flow velocity, depth and connectivity, were responsible for the development of planktonic populations in the lakes, that arrived in the main river through tributaries. With this, we suggest the importance of the conservation of adjacent environments of the Paraná River for the maintenance of the zooplanktonic species in this system


species nestedness, spatial distribution, species dispersal, floodplain

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Departamento de Ecologia – IB - UNESP/Rio Claro. Avenida 24 A n° 1515. CEP 13506-900. Rio Claro (SP) / Brasil