Spatial distribution of fish assemblages along environmental gradients in the temporary ponds of Northern Pantanal, Brazil
AbstractTen temporary ponds in northern Pantanal were studied in July 2006 to explore whether a spatial distribution pattern existed in the composition of fish assemblages, and to identify which environmental variables determined their distribution. The existence of any spatial pattern was tested using the multivariate Mantel correlogram, while the influence of environmental variables was quantified by a Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA). A total of 8735 individuals was sampled from 29 species, predominantly represented by Hyphessobrycon elachys and Serrapinnus calliurus. Composition of fish assemblages varied among ponds, but this variation had no significant spatial pattern for any of the distance classes considered, thus indicating that the species composition varied independently of the distance between ponds. This suggests that stochastic dispersal processes did not influence the spatial structure of species, as predicted by the neutral theory. Conversely, species composition in the ponds was determined by variables that included depth, macrophyte richness and cover. Species such as Markiana nigripinnis, Crenicichla vittata and Moenkhausia sanctaefilomenae occurred in deeper waters, while Parauchenipterus striatulus, Eigenmannia trilineata and Psellogrammus kennedyi were mainly associated with greater richness and macrophyte cover, as already demonstrated by the niche theory applied in ponds which tended to have similar characteristics and a similar fish composition.
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Copyright (c) 2013 Karina K. Tondato, Ibraim Fantin-Cruz, Olavo C. Pedrollo, Yzel R. Súarez
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