Spatial-temporal analysis of the diet of a non-native fish in the Santa Cruz Reservoir, Brazilian semi-arid

Jônnata Fernandes de Oliveira, Jean Carlos Dantas Oliveira, José Luís Costa Novaes, Antonia Elissandra Freire de Souza, Marla Melise Oliveira de Sousa, Andréa Bezerra dos Santos, Danielle Peretti


Abstract: Aim: The diet of Plagioscion squamosissimus present in the Santa Cruz Reservoir, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil, was investigated, evaluating the influences of spatial and temporal variations and abiotic factors in the utilization of food resources. Methods: The samplings were performed quarterly between February 2011 and November 2014. Of the 525 specimens captured, 375 presented food items in the stomachs, used in this study. The diet was determined using: (i) Feeding Index (IAi); (ii) and the graphical interpretation of the food strategy through non-metric multidimensional scaling (nMDS) analyzes, the differences in diet being tested from Permutational Multivariate Analyzes of Variance (PERMANOVA), and to verify if environmental variables influence the Multivariate Canonical Correspondence Analyzes (CCA) were used, using the data from the IAi the environmental data, being the significance of the axes tested through Monte Carlo simulations. Results: The species fed mainly on items of animal origin, vegetable being a resource ingested accidentally. The diet was composed of shrimp, fish, insect, mollusk and vegetable, the latter rarely found. The shrimp was the main item (92.57%) and the insects (7.24%) accessory items. Spatial and temporal ordering demonstrated that the species didn’t present variation in diet composition, as well as a low association between diet and environmental variables. Conclusion: P. squamosissimus is characterized as carcinophagous, due to the predominance of shrimp in its diet, evidencing that the species is adapted to the conditions offered by the Brazilian semiarid environment.


food strategy; feeding index; Plagioscion squamosissimus

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