Littoral Communities. Macrocrustaceans

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The littoral community of lotic and lentic environments of the Middle Paraná River is complex and dynamic, providing shelter to a high biological diversity and abundant populations. A numerically important group and with active participation in the community structure is that of macrocrustaceans, and, specifically, the order Decapoda, superorder Eucarida Calman 1904, subphylum Crustacea Brünnich 1772. The taxonomic unit Decapoda records more than 8,500 species, most of them restricted to marine areas (Brusca and Brusca 1990); however, some of them have successfully conquered freshwater and brackish environments. Among the latter, mangrove swamps and lenitic environments of large river floodplains provide the highest diversity and density of individuals due to their environmental heterogeneity (Bliss 1989).