Aquatic ecosystems are influenced by the surrounding terrestrial environment. This work studied the influence of vegetation of riparian zones on the feeding patterns of two nektonic characids, Astyanax paranae and Bryconamericus iheringii, in a basin surrounded by an agricultural area. Nine streams within the Corumbataí River basin (São Paulo State, Brazil) with varying proportions of adjacent riparian forest (RF) and pastures were set apart in three arbitrary categories: Riparian Forest (>90% RF), Mixed Coverage (banks covered by 30-60% RF; MC) and Pasture (<29% RF, PA); resident characids were sampled in the dry and rainy seasons and evaluated in regard to composition of diets. Astyanax paranae fed on allochthonous food sources in RF and MC, and on autochthonous food sources on PA streams; B. iheringii fed on autochthonous food sources in RF streams and in mixed resources (detritus and sediment) in PA streams. Selection of food source was related to, and altered by, stream channel structure and composition of substratum. Preservation and restoration of native riparian vegetation is key to preservation of resident characids in small streams of this river basin.
Riparian forests are important for the structure and functioning of stream ecosystems, providing structural components such as large woody debris (LWD). Changes in these forests will cause modifications in the LWD input to streams, affecting their structure. In order to assess the influence of riparian forests changes in LWD supply, 15 catchments (third and fourth order) with riparian forests at different conservation levels were selected for sampling. In each catchment we quantified the abundance, volume and diameter of LWD in stream channels; the number, area and volume of pools formed by LWD and basal area and tree diameter of riparian forest. We found that riparian forests were at a secondary successional stage with predominantly young trees (diameter at breast height <10 cm) in all studied streams. Results showed that basal area and diameter of riparian forest differed between the stream groups (forested and non-forested), but tree density did not differ between groups. Differences were also observed in LWD abundance, volume, frequency of LWD pools with subunits and area and volume of LWD pools. LWD diameter, LWD that form pools diameter and frequency of LWD pools without subunits did not differ between stream groups. Regression analyses showed that LWD abundance and volume, and frequency of LWD pools (with and without subunits) were positively related with the proportion of riparian forest. LWD diameter was not correlated to riparian tree diameter. The frequency of LWD pools was correlated to the abundance and volume of LWD, but characteristics of these pools (area and volume) were not correlated to the diameter of LWD that formed the pools. These results show that alterations in riparian forest cause modifications in the LWD abundance and volume in the stream channel, affecting mainly the structural complexity of these ecosystems (reduction in the number and structural characteristics of LWD pools). Our results also demonstrate that riparian forest conservation actions must consider not only its extension, but also successional stage to guarantee the quantity and quality of LWD necessary to enable the structuring of stream channels.
If riparian buffer zones are ineffective in preventing C4 plant carbon from upland areas reaching the stream sediment, the composition of stream fauna can be significantly altered. The permeability of riparian forest strips in agricultural, small subtropical watersheds in south-eastern Brazil was measured in nine watersheds categorised according to the predominant land cover of the legally required 30-m buffer riparian zone. Four watersheds with well preserved riparian forest along the 30-m buffer zone were designated as FOREST watersheds; three watersheds, with a predominance of C4 grasses from sugarcane to pasture, mixed with preserved riparian forests, were designated MIXED watersheds; and two watersheds were termed PASTURE-SUGAR because their entire 30-m buffer zone was covered by C4 plants. Stable carbon (δ13C) isotopes were used as tracers of upland C4 carbon in sediments, suspended particulate organic carbon, terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates and two species of neotropical fish. Although the intact 30-m buffer zone of riparian forests did not entirely prevent the input of C4 to the river environment and food web, there was a significant increase in C4 carbon in those watersheds where the buffer zone was not covered by riparian forests. These findings emphasise the importance of riparian forests in mitigating disturbance in streams and support efforts to preserve such riparian corridors.
ABSTRACT. An analysis of the diet of Astyanax paranae Eigenmann, 1914 in nine streams located in the Passa-Cinco River basin (upper Paraná River system) was performed to investigate the feeding habits of this species, check for possible spatial variations in diet and to investigate the influence of riparian vegetation in the composition of the diet. Stomach contents of 243 specimens were analyzed by the methods of relative frequency of occurrence and volume, and the diet was characterized by the alimentary index (AIi). The species showed insectivorous feeding habits, with a predominance of terrestrial and aquatic insects in the diet, varying by location. In most streams, resources of allochthonous origin were the most consumed. The participation of aquatic insects and terrestrial plants were high in most streams, while terrestrial insects and invertebrates were highest in streams with a greater presence of riparian forest. The two streams located draining pasture fields were the only places were A. paranae consumed algae and macrophyte fragments. These results were corroborated by the analysis of similarity (ANOSIM): the descriptor "percentage of riparian forest" was the highest environmental influence on the diet of A. paranae. The study shows that riparian forest percentage on the stream reach determines the species diet composition, but A. paranae is also able to gather enough food resources in a variety of severely degraded environments. KEYWORDS.Feeding ecology, Characiformes, insectivorous fishes, habitat features. RESUMO. Dieta deAstyanax paranae (Characidae) em riachos com diferentes coberturas ripárias na bacia do rio Passa-Cinco, sudeste do Brasil. A análise da dieta de Astyanax paranae Eigenmann, 1914 em nove riachos localizados na bacia do rio Passa-Cinco, sistema do alto rio Paraná, foi realizada com o objetivo de investigar os hábitos alimentares desta espécie, verificar possíveis variações espaciais na dieta e investigar a influência da vegetação ripária na composição da dieta. Foram analisados 243 estômagos através dos métodos de frequência relativa de ocorrência e volumétrico, e a dieta caracterizada através do índice alimentar (AIi). A espécie apresentou hábito alimentar insetívoro, com o predomínio de insetos terrestres e aquáticos na dieta, variando de acordo com o local. Na maioria dos riachos, os recursos mais consumidos foram os de origem alóctone. A participação de insetos aquáticos e vegetais terrestres foram elevadas na maioria dos riachos, enquanto que insetos e invertebrados terrestres apresentaram maior contribuição nos riachos com maior presença de floresta ripária. Os dois riachos drenando áreas de pastagens foram os únicos locais onde A. paranae consumiu algas e fragmentos de macrófitas. Esses resultados são corroborados pela análise de similaridade (ANOSIM), onde o descritor ambiental "porcentagem de floresta ripária" foi aquele de maior influencia na dieta de A. paranae. O estudo mostra que a porcentagem de floresta na zona ripária define a composição da dieta da espécie naquel...
Deforestation for agricultural purposes is the most dangerous human action against the conservation of the Brazilian Amazon Forest; its rates reached almost 20% of the original forested area. Many studies have been conducted on Chironomidae systematics and ecology over the Amazon biome, but most concerned the Central Amazon, while little is known about Chironomidae diversity and the effects of land development and agriculture intensification on the aquatic biota from Eastern Brazilian Amazon. The present study analyzed the effects of different land-use and land-cover on Chironomidae assemblages. Land-Use and Land-Cover (LULC) at the riparian zone were assessed from satellite imagery and three categories were defined: Forest, Secondary (Capoeira) and Agriculture. Ten catchments were selected: two for Forest, five for Agriculture and three for Secondary. For each catchment we characterized habitat and sampled insects. We hypothesized that i) the assemblage taxonomic richness will change across different land uses on riparian zones and ii) feeding functionality is a better information than taxonomic resolution to show the importance of LULC upon stream. A total of 20,884 individuals were sampled from the streams, abundance was higher in Agriculture streams. Corynoneura (18.4%), Pentaneura (14.6%) and Rheotanytarus (14.0%) were the most abundant genera in Agriculture streams; Corynoneura (17.8%), Caladomyia (13.6%), Paratanytarsus (13.1%) and Beardius (10.9%) dominated Forest streams; Goeldichironomus (25.9%), Rheotanytarus (17.6%) and Polypedilum (13.2%) dominated Capoeira streams. Regarding FFG, gatherers were the most numeric abundant in Forest (50.3%), followed by filterers (38.7%), predators (6.6%) and shredders (4.2%). In Capoeira, filterers were the main FFG (61.1%), gatherers (27.9%), predators (7.7%) and shredders (3.3%). In Agriculture streams, predators, filterers and gatherers had close numeric participation, 34.9%, 32.4% and 32.2%, respectively. Shredders performed a smaller fraction (0.4%). In Forest and Agriculture, scrapers participation was under 0.2%, while it was absent at Capoeira. Permutation tests showed significant differences among assemblages, based on numerical abundance of genera and on functional feeding group data. Even though, shredders showed a discrete participation in all three LULC, it was statistically significant higher at Forest streams when compared to Agriculture ones. Our study was able to demonstrate taxonomic differences of all LULC analyzed and it also showed the importance in considering the feeding behavior to understand the effects of land-use and land-covers changes.
The Neotropical region hosts 4225 freshwater fish species, ranking first among the world's most diverse regions for freshwater fishes. Our NEOTROPICAL FRESHWATER FISHES data set is the first to produce a large‐scale Neotropical freshwater fish inventory, covering the entire Neotropical region from Mexico and the Caribbean in the north to the southern limits in Argentina, Paraguay, Chile, and Uruguay. We compiled 185,787 distribution records, with unique georeferenced coordinates, for the 4225 species, represented by occurrence and abundance data. The number of species for the most numerous orders are as follows: Characiformes (1289), Siluriformes (1384), Cichliformes (354), Cyprinodontiformes (245), and Gymnotiformes (135). The most recorded species was the characid Astyanax fasciatus (4696 records). We registered 116,802 distribution records for native species, compared to 1802 distribution records for nonnative species. The main aim of the NEOTROPICAL FRESHWATER FISHES data set was to make these occurrence and abundance data accessible for international researchers to develop ecological and macroecological studies, from local to regional scales, with focal fish species, families, or orders. We anticipate that the NEOTROPICAL FRESHWATER FISHES data set will be valuable for studies on a wide range of ecological processes, such as trophic cascades, fishery pressure, the effects of habitat loss and fragmentation, and the impacts of species invasion and climate change. There are no copyright restrictions on the data, and please cite this data paper when using the data in publications.
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