This study described the use of food resources and the distribution of fish trophic guilds along the longitudinal gradient of a coastal Atlantic stream, southern Brazil. Allochthonous resources (terrestrial insects) predominated in the headwaters, whereas autochthonous food items (algae, fish) and detritus predominated in the mouth section. Detritivorous, aquaticinvertivorous, and terrestrial-and aquatic-insectivorous species occurred throughout the gradient, while omnivorous and piscivorous in the headwaters and middle stretches, respectively, and herbivorous in the middle and mouth. Detritivores and aquatic-insectivores were significantly more specialized than the other guilds, however, there was no evidence of a longitudinal increase in trophic specialization. Density and biomass of aquatic-invertivores and aquatic-insectivores decreased, whereas that of detritivores increased longitudinally. The distribution of trophic guilds was significantly associated with the stream section, where aquatic and terrestrial insectivorous were more frequent in rocky and flowed stretches from the headwater and detritivores in deeper environments with finer particles of substrate from the mouth. This suggests that fish assemblages in coastal streams with a steep longitudinal gradient may follow patterns in the use of food resources according with the food availability along the river, as predicted by the River Continuum Concept.Este estudo descreve o uso dos recursos alimentares e a distribuição das guildas tróficas de peixes ao longo do gradiente longitudinal de um riacho da encosta Atlântica, Sul do Brasil. Recursos alóctones (insetos terrestres) foram consumidos com maior frequência na cabeceira, entretanto, recursos de origem autóctone (algas, peixes) e detritos foram mais frequentemente registrados na foz. Espécies detritívoras, invertívoras aquáticas, insetívoras terrestres e aquáticas ocorreram ao longo de todo gradiente, enquanto que as onívoras e piscívoras na cabeceira e meio, respectivamente, e herbívoras no meio e foz. Detritívoras e insetívoras aquáticas foram significativamente mais especializadas em relação às demais guildas; entretanto, não houve nenhuma evidência de aumento longitudinal da especialização trófica. A densidade e a biomassa de invertívoras e insetívoras aquáticas diminuíram, enquanto que das detritívoras aumentaram no sentido cabeceira-foz. A distribuição das guildas tróficas foi significativamente associada com a secção do riacho, onde insetívoras aquáticas e terrestres foram mais frequentes em trechos rochosos e de elevado fluxo da cabeceira, enquanto que detritívoras em ambientes mais profundos com partículas finas de substrato da foz. Tais resultados sugerem que assembleias de peixes de riachos tropicais de encosta, os quais apresentam acentuado gradiente longitudinal, podem seguir padrões de uso dos recursos alimentares de acordo com a disponibilidade alimentar ao longo do rio, como previstos no Conceito de Continuidade de Rios.
We investigated the potential effects of an invasive alien Poaceae (Urochloa arrecta) on the abundance, richness, and composition of native macrophytes and fish. Samples were collected in patches of macrophytes dominated by the invasive species and in others dominated by a native macrophyte (Eichhornia azurea). We assessed the potential effects of these two species on macrophyte and fish abundance and richness, as well as in fish assemblage composition. The effects of both macrophytes did not differ when they were in similar, low biomasses. Consistent with our expectations, however, the abundance of native macrophytes and fish decreased with increasing U. arrecta biomass, and both assemblages were eliminated at the extreme high levels of biomass attained by this species. In contrast, E. azurea did not affect the assemblages because this native species never reached levels of biomass as high as those recorded for the invasive species. Competition for space and light most likely determines the elimination of macrophytes in patches that are extensively colonized by U. arrecta, whereas fish assemblages do not occupy these patches due most likely to the limited space available for movement and foraging. Thus, U. arrecta is a source of concern for biodiversity conservation because it has negative influences on both assemblages when it is well developed, which is true in the later stages of the invasion process.
This study evaluated the effect of seasonality on diet composition and overlap in fish species inhabiting the littoral zone of a small lake. We analyzed whether the way the species exploit food resources may help explain their coexistence. Fish samples were collected in a lake in the Upper Paraná River floodplain in September (dry period) and December (rainy period) of 2010. The diet of six species was evaluated through stomach content analysis, which showed that the most consumed resources were microcrustaceans, aquatic insects, aquatic higher plant and algae. Diet composition was significantly different between periods for all species studied. Diet overlap values were low in both periods, but trophic segregation was even higher in the rainy period, indicating that with greater abundance of food resources, species could exploit preferential resources. Trophic segregation, evidenced by the low overlap values in both periods, indicates the absence of interspecific competition, which may explain the coexistence of these species in the littoral zone of this small lake.
SILVA, M.R., FUGI, R., CARNIATTO, N., GANASSIN, M.J.M. Importance of allochthonous resources in the diet of Astyanax aff. fasciatus (Osteichthyes: Characidae) in streams: a longitudinal approach.http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/1676-06032014001613Abstract: The aim of this investigation was to respond the following question: is the consumption of allochthonous resources by Astyanax aff. fasciatus influenced by the longitudinal gradient in streams? To respond this question we sampled fish in the headwater, middle and mouth stretches of four streams (Upper Paraná River basin). Samplings were carried out from July 2007 to June 2008 using electrical fishing. Fish were identified, measured and their stomach contents identified and quantified. Spatial variations (among longitudinal stretches) in the diet were summarized using a principal coordinate analysis (PCoA). Spatial differences in the diet were tested with a multiresponse permutation procedure (MRPP). Allochthonous resources had the highest percentage of the A. aff. fasciatus diet in all stretches; however, the increased importance of autochthonous resources in the fish diet in the stream mouths made these stretches to differ significantly from the middle and headwater ones. The ordination analysis separated the fish diet sampled in the stream mouth from the diet of most fish samples in the headwater and middle stretches. The results highlight the importance of allochthonous resources, mainly insects, in the diet of A. aff. fasciatus. However, the diet was affected by longitudinal gradient and followed the pattern described for these ecosystems, where fish depend basically of allochthonous material in the headwaters and the importance of these resources decrease along the longitudinal gradient. Keywords: Fish, feeding resources, terrestrial subsidies, Pirapó River, Paraná River.SILVA, M.R., FUGI, R., CARNIATTO, N., GANASSIN, M.J.M. Importância dos recursos alóctones na dieta de Astyanax aff. fasciatus (Osteichthyes: Characidae) em riachos: uma abordagem longitudinal. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/1676-06032014001613Resumo: O objetivo deste estudo foi responder a seguinte pergunta: o consumo de recursos aló ctones por Astyanax aff. fasciatus é influenciado pelo gradiente longitudinal dos riachos? Para responder esta questã o, foram amostrados peixes na cabeceira, no meio e na foz de quatro riachos (bacia do alto Rio Paraná ). As amostragens foram realizadas entre julho/2007 e junho/2008, utilizando-se pesca elétrica. Os peixes foram identificados, medidos e seus conteú dos estomacais identificados e quantificados. Variaçõ es espaciais (entre os trechos) na dieta foram sumarizadas através da aná lise de ordenaçã o de coordenadas principais (PCoA). Diferenças espaciais na dieta foram testadas através do procedimento de permutação de multiresposta (MRPP). Recursos alimentares aló ctones compuseram a maior parcela da dieta de A. aff. fasciatus em todos os trechos, porém, na foz dos riachos a dieta diferiu significativamente do meio e da cabeceira, sendo esta diferença causada p...
AIM: In this paper we assessed the effects of flooding (low and high water period) on the feeding activity and diet composition of Serrapinus notomelas in patches of the macrophyte Eichhornia azurea in a shallow floodplain lake (upper Paraná River Floodplain, Brazil). We also assessed the variations of diet composition and feeding activity along the diel cycle. METHODS: Traps were used to catch the fish inside of macrophyte patches monthly from June/2007 to May/2008. A total of 1038 stomachs were examined. We assessed the feeding activity with the mean stomach fullness degree method. To summarize and support the results of diet composition in the different periods (low and high water periods) and times (dawn, light period, and dusk), was applied a nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMS). RESULTS: The feeding activity of S. notomelas did not differ between low and high water periods, but it differed along the diel cycle. The feeding activity was higher during the light period and dusk, at both the low and high water period. The diet composition differed significantly between low and high water periods, and also along the diel cycle. In the low water the diet of S. notomelas was composed mainly by algae and in the high water by Cladocera. Algae were consumed mainly during the light period while Cladocera in dawn and dusk. CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that the oscillations in the water level affect the diet composition, but not the feeding activity of S. notomelas. These seasonal changes are probably related to the temporal abundance of food resources, thus, when Cladocera density was low (low water), S. notomelas consumed mainly algae but when Cladocera was more abundant (high water), it became a common food resource.
Hydrological connectivity interferes directly in dispersal rates of organisms and in similarity of environmental conditions among floodplain environments. Consequently, connectivity promotes changes in food resources availability to fish. Here we tested the predictions that (a) isolated floodplain lakes have greater environmental heterogeneity than connected lakes, (b) fish diet differs more among isolated than among connected lakes and (c) trophic niche breadth of the species is smaller in isolated than in connected lakes. We used one invertivorous and one algivorous species of fish to test these two last predictions. The environmental heterogeneity (evaluated in relation to abiotic variables and the macrophyte composition) tended to be greater in isolated lakes. Diet of both species differed significantly in all isolated lakes populations, and in the majority of the populations in connected lakes; however, the main items consumed for invertivorous species were common in all connected lakes. Trophic niche breadth of the invertivorous fish was significantly greater in the connected lakes; however, the algivorous species showed no significant difference between connected and isolated lakes. Our findings suggest that connectivity can facilitate the dispersal of organisms, allowing the increase in food item richness and consequently, trophic niche breadth, as observed for invertivorous species. However, connectivity likely plays a minor role on the algivorous species, whose diet may be more affected by local conditions, such as habitat structure. Our results support the view that regional (dispersion) and local (habitat structure) factors interact with feeding habit to determine fish food composition in the floodplain lakes we studied.
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