Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 98, Issue 2, pp 725–737 | Cite as

The importance of a conservation unit in a subtropical basin for fish spawning and growth

  • Simoni Ramalho Ziober
  • David Augusto Reynalte-Tataje
  • Evoy Zaniboni-Filho


Studies for location of breeding sites and early development areas of freshwater fish in subtropical basins are still incipient. Most of the existing knowledge is based on sampling in environments impacted by dams of hydroelectric power plants and studies in areas with characteristics similar to the original are lacking. In this way, this study evaluated the spatial distribution of the ichthyoplankton in a Conservation Unit (Turvo State Park, Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil) on the subtropical basin of the Uruguay River, in a stretch with no hydroelectric power plants and at best preservation condition. The density distribution of fish eggs and larvae was evaluated quantitatively through plankton nets samples, while the analysis of the species composition of larvae was assessed qualitatively through plankton nets and light traps sampling. There were significant differences in two stretches situated inside the park separated by a waterfall, both in the distribution of eggs and larvae and in species composition of the larval assemblage. Our results indicate that periods without the total flood of Yucumã Falls influences the composition of the ichthyoplankton and the existence of two distinct reproductive environments over an approximate length of 50 km. This result supports the hypothesis that in subtropical basins the alternation of flood and dry periods can influence the structure of fish community and evidences the importance of maintenance of hydrological conditions to fish reproduction in this river section, because showed the importance of the habitat diversity in the river channel to fish recruitment.


Uruguay River Ichthyoplankton Freshwater fishes Turvo state park Yucumã falls 



The authors thank Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa e Inovação do Estado de Santa Catarina (FAPESC) for Doctoral scholarship to the first author and Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) for productivity grant to the last author. To CNPq, FAPESC and Tractebel Energy for funding the fieldwork. Also thank Lúcia A. F. Mateus for assistance in statistical analysis, Rodrigo Nascimento for aid in geospatial analysis and Valquíria Garcia for the preparation of Fig. 6.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simoni Ramalho Ziober
    • 1
  • David Augusto Reynalte-Tataje
    • 2
  • Evoy Zaniboni-Filho
    • 1
  1. 1.Programa de Pós-Graduação em Aquicultura, Centro de Ciências AgráriasUniversidade Federal de Santa CatarinaFlorianópolisBrazil
  2. 2.Campus Cerro LargoUniversidade Federal Fronteira SulCerro LargoBrazil

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