Distribuição e abundância de peixes de corredeiras e suas relações com características de hábitat local, bacia de drenagem e posição espacial em riachos de Mata Atlântica (bacia do rio Maquiné, RS, Brasil.
Becker, Fernando Gertum
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The relationship between fish, local habitat, catchment characteristics spatial position in riffles of the Maquiné river basin (RS, Brazil) was studied. Results were discussed considering present and historical states of conservation of the basin, which was determined from Landsat TM5 images. Fish data were obtained from qualitative sampling and quantitative sampling. The later involved standardized kick-sampling in 24 riffles. Sampling occurred seasonally from August 1999 to June 2000. A total of 72 fish species occur at the Maquiné river basin. Only 3 species occur at the headwaters, 1 at the slope of the Serra Geral and 68 from valley bottoms to the river mouth. Among the later, 20 occur exclusively in valley bottom stream sections and not in Coastal Plain habitats. From these, 8 benthic riffle species were investigated for relations with habitat and catchment characteristics. The spatial pattern of assemblage variation allowed the description of four assemblage types: a)assemblages dominated by Hemipsilichthys spp; b) with high relative abundance of Hemipsilichthys spp, but other species being also abundant, c) with intermediary total abundance, dominated by R. aequalicuspis, E. bilineatus and C. pterostictum; d) with low total abundance, dominated by R. aequalicuspis. Assemblages were seasonally persistent and proportional abundance was stable. Although local habitat characteristics have significantly contributed to explain variation in the data, the observed patterns reflected the control of catchment characteristics over local habitat and fish assemblages. Although spatial position was important both at the individual stream and basin scales, assemblage characteristics were also related to catchment area. The state of conservation at the catchment scale did not present evident relationships with fish assemblage characteristics and some hypothesis explaining this finding are discussed. The present process of vegetation recovery, the relatively high number of species and the biogeographic situation of the Maquiné basin indicate that it should be contemplated in conservation programs. Theregion is promising for investigating how lotic ecosystems respond to landscape recovery in their catchments.