Sensitive and cost-effective indicators of aquatic ecosystem condition in Amazon streams are necessary to assess the effects of anthropogenic disturbances on those systems in a viable and ecologically meaningful manner. We conducted the present study in the municipality of Paragominas, state of Pará, northern Brazil, where we sampled adult dragonflies in 50 100-m-long wadeable stream sites in 2011. We collected 1769 specimens represented by 11 families, 41 genera and 97 species. The suborder Zygoptera contributed 961 individuals and Anisoptera 808. Among the 97 recorded species, nine were classified as useful indicators of ecological condition, with four species being associated with more degraded streams (three Anisoptera, one Zygoptera) and five with more preserved streams (all were Zygoptera). Anisoptera (dragonflies) tend to provide more useful indicators of more degraded environments because they have more efficient homeostatic mechanisms and are more mobile, enabling them to tolerate a wider range of environmental conditions. By contrast, Zygoptera (damselflies) tend to provide a more useful role as indicators of more preserved environments and high levels of environmental heterogeneity because of their smaller body sizes and home ranges and greater ecophysiological restrictions. We conclude from our assessment of this low-order Amazonian stream system that (i) the occurrence of specific odonate species is strongly associated with the configuration of riparian vegetation, (ii) agricultural activities appear to be the main factor determining changes in the composition of odonate assemblages and (iii) these insects can act as useful indicators of the ecological consequences of riparian habitat loss and disturbance. Because generalist species invade moderately degraded areas, those areas may have high species richness but host few species of Zygoptera. Therefore, preserving dense riparian vegetation is necessary to maintain aquatic ecological condition, and that condition can be rehabilitated by planting new trees. Both require enforcing existing environmental regulations, various types of incentives and educating local communities.
Oil palm plantations have expanded around the world, increasing concern about its pressure on deforestation rates and the homogenization of the landscape. In this context, the present study aimed to evaluate the impact of oil palm plantations on the physical characteristics of streams in Amazonia and their effects on Heteroptera, Odonata and Fish assemblages. A total of 23 streams were sampled, eight within fragments of primary forest, while 15 were in oil palm plantations. Data were collected on characteristics of the channel morphology, substrate, hydraulics, instream cover for aquatic organisms, riparian vegetation, human impacts and woody debris. Instream cover and proximity of human impacts were the variables that had the greatest effects on the physical structure of the streams, showing variation between streams of forest in pristine areas and oil palm plantations. Of the analyzed parameters, substrate, instream cover and woody debris influence the richness of Heteroptera, Odonata and Fish. The impact of oil palm plantations on local streams depended on the size of the plantations, and they cannot be considered an adequate substitute for lost habitats in efforts to preserve the physical habitat of Amazonian streams. Any type of conversion of the natural forest can have direct or indirect impacts on the dynamics and structure of these environments, with potentially negative consequences for their biodiversity. The maintenance of an adequate buffer zone of native riparian vegetation adjacent to the streams that flow through the plantations recommended, because this appears to be the principal factor determining the physical conditions of these streams.
Protecting riparian vegetation around streams is vital in reducing the detrimental effects of environmental change on freshwater ecosystems and in maintaining aquatic biodiversity. Thus, identifying ecological thresholds is useful for defining regulatory limits and for guiding the management of riparian zones towards the conservation of freshwater biota. Using nationwide data on fish and invertebrates occurring in small Brazilian streams, we estimated thresholds of native vegetation loss in which there are abrupt changes in the occurrence and abundance of freshwater bioindicators and tested whether there are congruent responses among different biomes, biological groups and riparian buffer sizes. Mean thresholds of native vegetation cover loss varied widely among biomes, buffer sizes and biological groups: ranging from 0.5% to 77.4% for fish, from 2.9% to 37.0% for aquatic invertebrates and from 3.8% to 43.2% for a subset of aquatic invertebrates. Confidence intervals for thresholds were wide, but the minimum values of these intervals were lower for the smaller riparian buffers (50 and 100 m) than larger ones (200 and 500 m), indicating that land use should be kept away from the streams. Also, thresholds occurred at a lower percentage of riparian vegetation loss in the smaller buffers, and were critically lower for invertebrates: reducing only 6.5% of native vegetation cover within a 50‐m riparian buffer is enough to cross thresholds for invertebrates. Synthesis and applications. The high variability in biodiversity responses to loss of native riparian vegetation suggests caution in the use of a single riparian width for conservation actions or policy definitions nationwide. The most sensitive bioindicators can be used as early warning signals of abrupt changes in freshwater biodiversity. In practice, maintaining at least 50‐m wide riparian reserves on each side of streams would be more effective to protect freshwater biodiversity in Brazil. However, incentives and conservation strategies to protect even wider riparian reserves (~100 m) and also taking into consideration the regional context will promote a greater benefit. This information should be used to set conservation goals and to create complementary mechanisms and policies to protect wider riparian reserves than those currently required by the federal law.
ABSTRACT. Composition and distribution of Ephemeroptera (Insecta) in Cerrado-Amazônia transition area, Brazil. The objective of this study was to respond if exist a pattern on the spatial distributions of Ephemeroptera nymphs in different streams and rivers from Suiá-Miçú Basin, MT, and how the streams are classifying according to the species composition. Were sample 12 streams and rivers, in three periods of the year. Were collected 1,356 individuals, distributed in seven families, 31 genus and 42 species and/or morphospecies. The most abundant locals were semi-lentics and with few shaded suggering that most light in the system offer, allochthonous material and autochthonous material like food resources. The greater estimates richness was found in lotic places, emphasizing that the Ephemeroptera presents greater richness in these places, once water current is essential for organic matter transporting. So much in the grouping analysis (TWINSPAM) as in the ordination (DCA) was observed the separation of lotic and semi-lentic environments as for species composition. It had a gradient in the composition similarity of lotic and small streams for lotic and big stream and for last, semilentics. The results of this study show that the physic structure of aquatic environments affect species composition. In that way, retreat of riparian vegetation and streams dam up can take significant losses in the diversity. KEYWORDS.Aquatic insects, Suiá-Miçú River Basin, lotic and semi-lentic environments, nymphs. RESUMO.O objetivo deste trabalho foi responder se existe padrão na distribuição espacial das ninfas de Ephemeroptera em diferentes córregos e rios da bacia do Rio Suiá-Miçú, MT, e como os córregos estudados estão classificados de acordo com a composição de espécies. Na coleta foram amostrados 12 córregos e rios, em três períodos do ano. Foram coletados 1356 indivíduos, distribuídos em sete famílias, 31 gêneros e 42 espécies e/ou morfoespécies. Os locais mais abundantes foram ambientes semi-lênticos, com pouco sombreamento no leito, sugerindo que a maior entrada de luz disporia, além do material alóctone, material autóctone como fonte de alimento. A maior riqueza de espécie e/ou morfoespécie, estimada, foi em ambientes lóticos enfatizando que os Ephemeroptera apresentam maior riqueza nestes locais uma vez que a correnteza é essencial para transportar a matéria orgânica particulada. Tanto na análise de agrupamento (TWINSPAM) como na ordenação (DCA) observou-se a separação entre ambientes lóticos e semi-lênticos quanto a composição de espécies. Percebeu-se um gradiente na similaridade de composição dos ambientes lóticos de pequeno porte para ambientes lóticos de grande porte e, por fim, os semi-lênticos. Os resultados deste estudo demonstram que a estrutura física dos ambientes aquáticos afeta a composição de espécies. Dessa forma, a retirada das matas ciliares e o represamento dos córregos podem levar à perdas significativas na diversidade. PALAVRAS-CHAVE.Insetos aquáticos, bacia do rio Suiá-Miçú, ambiente lótico e semi-lênt...
-Community diversity is expected to reflect variations in local conditions but, recently, ecologists have started to realize that local diversity is also under pressure from global processes. As a result, the traditional view of community structure based on local interspecific interactions was replaced by the idea that community structure is a result of multiple processes acting in different spatial scales. This study is aimed at quantifying the relative importance of spatial, environmental and spatially structured processes on Ephemeroptera community in Cerrado streams in Brazil. Thirty-four rivers and streams in the Brazilian state Mato Grosso were sampled. Ephemeroptera species composition, based on abundance and presence data, was evaluated in relation to niche and neutral predictors by using a partial redundancy analysis (pRDA). Results obtained through the pRDA indicated that both environmental and spatial processes influenced Ephemeroptera abundance. On the other hand, only environmental processes showed effects on community patterns when using species presence data from preserved, altered and large streams and also when looking only at the preserved sites. When streams larger than 20 m were excluded from analysis, both environmental and spatially processes showed influence on Ephemeroptera composition. Adjusted R 2 values were higher for environmental than for spatial processes in all analyses. The relatively high influence of both environmental processes and stream width in the analyses highlights the sensitivity of mayflies assemblies to environmental variation, and emphasizes the importance of local processes, as predicted by niche theory, while neutral processes act to a lesser extent on the structure of the studied communities.
ABSTRACT. Spatial distribution of trophic guilds and community structure of Ephemeroptera (Insecta) in streams of the Cerrado region in Mato Grosso, Brazil. We analyzed the structure of the functional feeding groups of Ephemeroptera in five different types of substrates (litter in riffles, backwater litter, wood, stones and roots) from first to fifth orders at the Pindaíba River basin, state of Mato Grosso, Brazil. We also studied the specificity and frequency of the organism, and if the functional approach reflects changes within the community through ordination analysis. Our results assemble information about the functional classification of mayfly nymphs and show that scrapers were the most abundant, and gathering -collectors are the more diverse. Third order streams were the most richest and most abundant while functional feeding group distribution corroborated the predictions of The River Continuum Concept. Besides, communities were much more taxonomically structured than functionally structured. This fact underlies the importance of the biology of organisms, and not only the functional feeding group, for substrate selection. The preference of some genera for specific substrates confirms this value. KEYWORDS.Taxonomic composition, aquatic insect, mesodistribution, indicator species.RESUMO. Analisamos a estrutura dos grupos funcionais alimentares de Ephemeroptera em cinco tipos de substratos (folhiço em corredeira, folhiço em remanso, madeira, pedras e raízes) de trechos de primeira a quinta ordens da bacia do rio Pindaíba, estado do Mato Grosso, Brasil. Verificamos, ainda, a preferência de táxons por substratos específicos através da especificidade e frequência dos organismos, e se a abordagem funcional reflete as variações dentro da comunidade. Nossos resultados agregam informações a respeito da classificação funcional dos efemerópteros e mostram que os raspadores foram os mais abundantes e os coletores-apanhadores comportam uma maior riqueza de táxons. Os córregos de terceira ordem foram os mais ricos e abundantes enquanto que as distribuições dos grupos funcionais alimentares corroboram as predições do Conceito do Continuum fluvial. Além disso, as comunidades estudadas foram muito mais estruturadas taxonomicamente do que funcionalmente. Esse fato atesta a importância da biologia dos organismos para a seleção dos substratos. A preferência de alguns gêneros por substrato específico corrobora esta importância. PALAVRAS-CHAVE. Composição taxonômica, insetos aquáticos, mesodistribuição, espécies indicadoras.O conceito de guilda alimentar foi proposto originalmente por Root (1967), definido como um grupo de espécies, indiferente da afiliação taxonômica, que exploram a mesma classe de recursos alimentares de uma maneira similar. Quando insetos aquáticos são divididos em guildas tróficas, essas categorias são conhecidas como grupos funcionais alimentares (Functional Feeding Groups -FFG), e são baseadas não só no tipo de recurso consumido, mas também nos mecanismos morfológicos e comportamentais de aquisição dess...
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