Aquatic Sciences

, Volume 75, Issue 4, pp 607–617 | Cite as

Floods control the influence of environmental gradients on the diversity of zooplankton communities in a neotropical floodplain

  • Nadson Ressyé Simões
  • Juliana Déo Dias
  • Clarice Maria Leal
  • Louizi de Souza Magalhães Braghin
  • Fábio Amodêo Lansac-Tôha
  • Cláudia Costa Bonecker
Research Article


Floodplains show a high biodiversity due to their spatial heterogeneity and temporal variability, which are governed by environmental dynamics resulting from the flood pulse. We evaluated the importance of this driving force, the flood pulse, in the structuring of environmental gradients that influence species diversity in a neotropical floodplain. Gamma (γ) and alpha (α) zooplankton diversities were higher in the year with a typical flood pulse (2010), indicating that flood dynamics contributed to high diversity component values. We found significant relationships between α- and β-diversity and local environmental gradients, indicating that in years with a flood pulse, environmental filters might be the dominant mechanisms that structure the zooplankton community. Additive partitioning of γ-diversity showed that even in 2000 with atypical flood conditions, zooplankton diversities showed non-random patterns of spatial distribution and temporal variation in the floodplain. Our results indicate that the driving force of a floodplain can determine the spatial distribution of α- and β-diversity of aquatic communities owing to its primary effect on environmental filters. Therefore, if human activities that influence this driving force, such as water regulation, affect those environmental filters, floodplain biodiversity may decline.


Flood pulse Turnover Additive partitioning Environmental filters Regional factors 



The authors thank the Nupélia and the Graduate Program in Continental Aquatic Environments for providing logistical support; PROEX/Capes; PELD (site 6)/CNPq for providing financial support, and CNPq for providing doctoral, post-doctoral, and Research Productivity scholarships. NRS is grateful to CNPq for providing a postdoctoral scholarship. We thank the anonymous reviewers and Catherine Leigh who substantially contributed to the improvement of the manuscript.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOC 30 kb)
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Supplementary material 3 (DOC 212 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Basel 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nadson Ressyé Simões
    • 1
  • Juliana Déo Dias
    • 2
  • Clarice Maria Leal
    • 2
  • Louizi de Souza Magalhães Braghin
    • 2
  • Fábio Amodêo Lansac-Tôha
    • 2
  • Cláudia Costa Bonecker
    • 2
  1. 1.Universidade Federal do Pará, Laboratório de EcologiaAltamiraBrazil
  2. 2.Núcleo de Pesquisas em Limnologia, Ictiologia e Aquicultura (Nupélia), Programa de Pós Graduação em Ecologia de Ambientes Aquáticos Continentais (PEA)Universidade Estadual de MaringáMaringáBrazil

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