Aquatic macrophytes on the last undammed stretch of Upper Paraná River: Species inventory from Porto Primavera Dam to Ilha Grande National Park

Douglas Costa Souza, Eduardo Ribeiro Cunha, Raytha Assis Murillo, Márcio José Silveira, Mikaela Marques Pulzatto, Mário Sérgio Dainez-Filho, Lucas Assumpção Lolis, Sidinei Magela Thomaz


The last undammed stretch of the Upper Paraná River were not completely inventoried to the date and that rise concerns given the rapid rates of species extinction. Aim: Here intend to provide an inventory of macrophyte taxa recorded in the last 230 km undammed stretch of Upper Paraná River. Methods: We inventoried the macrophyte taxa in 27 sampling stations distributed among lakes, main channel of the river and tributary confluences. Macrophyte species were sampled at littoral zones and we explored taxonomic and life form aspects of the recorded species. We also used ordination techniques to summarize the variation in composition of macrophyte species. Results: We recorded 71 macrophyte taxa in 35 families. Most species were emergent, amphibian, free-floating and rooted submerged. At the main channel, Eichhornia azurea, E. crassipes and Paspalum repens represented the most frequent species. At tributary confluences, the most abundant species were Ludwigia sp., E. azurea, and Polygonum ferrugineum, while at lakes, Ludwigia sp, Oxycarium cubense and E. azurea were the most representative. Regarding to the macrophyte composition, Hydrilla verticillata most influenced sites in Paraná river while floodplain lakes were mostly characterized by presence of species as Scleria meleleuca, Panicum maximum, Thelypteris sp., and others. The presence of Urochloa mutica slightly influenced the tributaries. Conclusion: Our study indicates that last undammed stretch of the Upper Paraná River shows a large number of macrophyte species, which suggests this stretch as an important area for conservation of macrophyte species. In addition, the occurrence of invasive species within the investigated stretch deserves attention in terms of potential spread where management action may be needed.


: reservoir; conservation; aquatic plants

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