Hydrobiologia

, Volume 579, Issue 1, pp 1–13 | Cite as

Floods increase similarity among aquatic habitats in river-floodplain systems

  • Sidinei M. Thomaz
  • Luis Mauricio Bini
  • Reinaldo Luiz Bozelli
Opinion Paper

Abstract

During low water levels, habitats in river-floodplain systems are isolated from each other and from the main river. Oppositely, floods tend to connect water bodies with distinct hydrological characteristics and, as a result, ecological processes and biological communities tend to be more similar among the distinct habitats that comprise a river-floodplain system. Based on a literature review and also using unpublished data obtained in tropical floodplains, the aim of this paper is to highlight the effects of floods as a process that reduce spatial variability. The usual negative relationship between the coefficient of variation of any ecological indicator (e.g., chlorophyll-a or total phosphorus) and water level is the main result demonstrating a reduction in spatial variability due to floods. Considering physical, chemical or biotic data gathered in distinct habitats within the floodplain, this pattern was found in temperate and tropical regions, subjected to distinct levels of anthropogenic impacts, and at different spatial extents. The main mechanism that accounts for this pattern may be stated as follow. During low water level, the biological communities of each habitat in the floodplain (e.g. lagoons, backwater, streams) follow distinct temporal trajectories due to the effects of local driving forces (e.g. an efficient predator trapped in a lagoon but not in another). Management plans and biodiversity conservation in river floodplain systems will benefit by considering the effects of flood homogenization and increased connectivity peculiar to these unique ecosystems.

Keywords

Flood pulse River-floodplain systems Biodiversity 

References

  1. Agostinho, A. A. & M. Zalewski, 1995. The dependence of fish community structure and dynamics on floodplain riparian ecotone zone in Paraná River, Brazil. Hydrobiologia 303: 141–148.Google Scholar
  2. Agostinho, A. A., S. M. Thomaz & L. C. Gomes, 2005. Conservation of the biodiversity of Brazil´s inland waters. Conservation Biology 19: 646–652.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Agostinho, A. A., S. M. Thomaz, C. V. Minte-Vera & K. O. Winemiller, 2000. Biodiversity in the high Paraná River floodplain. In Gopal B., W. J. Junk & J. A. Davis (eds), Biodiversity in wetlands: assessment, function and conservation. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, 89–118.Google Scholar
  4. Almeida, J. S., 2000. Influência do regime hidrológico sobre algumas variáveis limnológicas em um lago da planície de inundação do rio Acre (Lago Amapá, Acre, Brasil). Master Thesis. PPG em Ecologia e Manejo de Recursos Naturais, Universidade Federal do Acre.Google Scholar
  5. Amoros, C. & G. Bornette, 2002. Connectivity and biocomplexity in waterbodies of riverine floodplains. Freshwater Biology 47: 761–776.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Aoyagui, A. S. M. & C. C. Bonecker, 2004. Rotifers in different environments of the Upper Paraná River floodplain (Brazil): richness, abundance and the relationship with connectivity. Hydrobiologia 522: 281–290.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Araujo Lima, C. A. R. M. & E. C. Oliveira, 1998. Transport of larval fish in the Amazon. Journal of Fish Biology 53: 297–306.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Aspetsberger, F., F. Huber, S. Kargl, B. Scharinger, P. Peduzzi & T. Hein, 2002. Particulate organic matter dynamics in a river floodplain system: impact of hydrological connectivity. Archiv für Hydrobiologie 156: 23–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bonecker, C. C. & F. A. Lansac-Tôha, 1996. Community structure of rotifers in two environments of the Upper River Paraná floodplain (MS) – Brazil. Hydrobiologia 325: 137–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bonecker, C. C., C. L. da Costa, L. F. M. Velho, F. A. Lansac-Tôha, 2005. Diversity and abundance of the planktonic rotifers in different environments of the Upper ParanáRiver floodplain (ParanáState – Mato Grosso do Sul State, Brazil). Hydrobiologia 546: 405–414.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bonecker, C. C., F. A. Lansac-Tôha & D. Rossa, 1998. Planktonic and non-planktonic rotifers in two environments of the Upper Paraná River floodplain, State of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. Brazilian Archives of Biology and Technology 41: 447–456.Google Scholar
  12. Bozelli, R. L., 1992. Composition of the zooplankton community of Batata and Mussura lakes and the Trombetas River, State of Paraná, Brazil. Amazoniana-Limnologia et Oecologia Regionalis Sistemae Fluminis Amazonas 12: 239–261.Google Scholar
  13. Bozelli, R. L., 2000. Zooplâncton. In Bozelli R. L., F. A. Esteves & F. Roland (eds), Impacto e recuperação de um ecossistema amazônico. UFRJ/SBL, Rio de Janeiro: 121–138.Google Scholar
  14. Brunke, M., E. Hoehn & T. Gonser, 2003. Patchiness of river-groundwater interactions within two floodplain landscapes and diversity of aquatic invertebrate communities. Ecosystems 6: 707–722.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Bunn, S. E. & A. H. Arthington, 2002. Basic principles and ecological consequences of altered flow regimes for aquatic biodiversity. Environmental Management 30: 492–507.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Calheiros, D. F. & S. K. Hamilton, 1998. Limnological conditions associated with natural fish kills in the Pantanal wetland of Brazil. Verhandlungen Internationale Vereinigung für theoretische und angewandte Limnologie 26: 2189–2193.Google Scholar
  17. Camargo, A. F. M. & F. A. Esteves, 1995. Influence of water level variation on fertilization of an oxbow lake of Rio Mogi-Guaçu, state of São Paulo, Brazil. Hydrobiologia 299: 185–193.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Carvalho, P., L. M. Bini, S. M. Thomaz, L. G. Oliveira, B. Robertson, W. L. G. Tavechio & A. J. Darwisch, 2001. Comparative limnology of South-American lakes and lagoons. Acta Scientiarum 23: 265–273.Google Scholar
  19. Clavero, M. & E. García-Berthou, 2005. Invasive species are a leading cause of animal extinctions. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 20: 110.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Connel, J. H., 1978. Diversity in tropical rain forest and coral reefs. Science 199: 1302–1310.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Cremer, H., A. D. Buijse, A. F. Lotter, W. Oosterberg & M. Staras, 2004. The palaeolimnological potential of diatom assemblages in floodplain lakes of the Danube Delta, Romania: a pilot study. Hydrobiologia 513: 7–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. David, G. Q., 2001. Dinâmica de nutrientes em um campo inundável no Pantanal Mato-grossensse, Brasil. Master Thesis, PPG em Ecologia, Universidade Federal, Cuiabá.Google Scholar
  23. Deiller, A. F., J. M. Walter & M. Tremolieres, 2001. Effects of flood interruption on species richness, diversity and floristic composition of woody regeneration in the upper Rhine alluvial hardwood forest Regulated Rivers-Research & Management 17: 393–405.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Drago, I. E., M. Marchese & K. M. Wantzen, 2004. Benthos of a large neotropical river: spatial patterns and species assemblages in the Lower Paraguay and its floodplain. Archiv für Hydrobiologie 160: 347–374.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Forsberg B. R., A. H. Devol, J. E. Richey, L. A. Martinelli & H. Santos, 1988. Factors controlling nutrient concentrations in Amazon floodplain lakes. Limnology and Oceanography 33: 41–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Furch, K. & W. J. Junk, 1985. Dissolved carbon in a floodplain lake of the Amazon and in the river channel. Mitteilungen des Geologisch-Paläontologischen Institutes der Universität Hamburg 58: 285–298.Google Scholar
  27. Garcia, A. P. P., F. A. Lansac-Tôha & C. C. Bonecker, 1998. Species composition and abundance of rotifers in different environments of the floodplain of the Upper Paraná River, Brazil. Revista Brasileira de Zoologia 15: 327–343.Google Scholar
  28. Gopal, B., W. J. Junk & J. A. Davis, 2000. Biodiversity in wetlands: assessment, function and conservation. Backuys Publishers, Leiden.Google Scholar
  29. Gopal, B., W. J. Junk & J. A. Davis, 2001. Biodiversity in wetlands: assessment, function and conservation. Backuys Publishers, Leiden.Google Scholar
  30. Guenther, M. & R. Bozelli, 2004. Effects of inorganic turbidity on the phytoplankton of an Amazonian Lake impacted by bauxite talings. Hydrobiologia 511: 151–159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Gurnell, A. M. & G. E. Petts, 2002. Island-dominated landscapes of large floodplain, a European perspective. Freshwater Biology 47: 581–600.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hamilton, S. K. & W. M. Lewis, 1990. Basin morphology in relation to chemical and ecological characteristics of lakes on the Orinoco River floodplain, Venezuela. Archiv für Hydrobiologie 119: 393–425.Google Scholar
  33. Huszar, V. L. M., 2000. Fitoplâncton. In Bozelli R. L., F. A. Esteves & F. Roland (eds), Impacto e recuperação de um ecossistema amazônico. UFRJ/SBL, Rio de Janeiro, 89–104.Google Scholar
  34. Izaguirre, I., I. ÓFarrel, F. Unrein, R. Sinistro, M. D. Afonso & G. Tell, 2004. Algal assemblages across a wetland, from a shallow lake to relictual oxbow lakes (Lower Paraná River, South America). Hydrobiologia 511: 25–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Jarolimek, I., V. Banasova, H. Otahelova & M. Zaliberova, 2001. Nine year succession of the herbaceous floodplain vegetation in the Morava river. Ekologia-Bratislava 20: 92–100.Google Scholar
  36. José de Paggi, S., 1993. Composition and seasonality of planktonic rotifers in limnetic and littoral regions of a floodplain lake (Paraná River system). Revue d´Hydrobiologie Tropicale 26: 53–63.Google Scholar
  37. Junk, W. J., P. B. Bayley & R. E. Sparks, 1989. The flood pulse concept in river-floodplain systems. Canadian Special Publication of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 106: 110–127.Google Scholar
  38. Justus, C. & S. Sarkar, 2002. The principle of complementarity in the design of reserve networks to conserve biodiversity: a preliminary history. Journal of Biosciences 27(4): 421–435.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. King, R. T., 2003. Succession and micro-elevation effects on seedling establishment of Calophyllum brasiliense camb. (Clusiaceae) in an Amazonian river meander forest. Biotropica 35: 462–471.Google Scholar
  40. Lansac-Tôha F. A., C. C. Bonecker & L. F. M. Velho, 2004. Composition, species richness and abundance of the zooplankton community. In Thomaz S. M., A. A. Agostinho & N. S. Hahn (eds), The Upper Paraná River and its floodplain: Physical aspects, ecology and conservation. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, 145–190.Google Scholar
  41. Lewis Jr., W. M., S. K. Hamilton, M. A. Lasi, M. Rodríguez, J. F. Saunders III, 2000. Ecological determinism on the Orinoco floodplain. BioScience 50: 681–692.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Maltchik, L., A. S. Rolon & C. Groth, 2004. The effects of flood pulse on the macrophyte community in a shallow lake of Southern Brazil. Acta Limnologica Brasiliensia 16: 103–113.Google Scholar
  43. Maltchik, L., G. R. de Oliveira, A. S. Rolon & C. Stenert, 2005. Diversity and stability of aquatic macrophyte community in three shallow lakes associated to a floodplain system in the south of Brazil. Interciencia 30: 166–170.Google Scholar
  44. Meschiatti, A. J., M. S. Arcifa & N. Fenerich-Verani, 2000. Fish communities associated with macrophytes in Brazilian floodplain lakes. Environmental Biology of Fishes 58: 133–143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Miranda, L. E., 2005. Fish Assemblages in Oxbow Lakes Relative to Connectivity with the Mississippi River. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 134: 1480–1489.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Nakatani, K., A. Bialeztki, G. Baumgartner, P. V. Sanches & M. C. Makrakis, 2004. Temporal and spatial dynamics of fish eggs and larvae. In Thomaz S. M., A. A. Agostinho & N. S. Hahn (eds), The Upper Paraná River and its floodplain: Physical aspects, ecology and conservation. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, 293–308.Google Scholar
  47. Neiff, J. J., 1979. Fluctuaciones de la vegetacion acuatica en ambientes del valle de inundacion del Parana Medio. Physis 38: 41–53.Google Scholar
  48. Neiff, J. J., 1990. Ideas para la interpretacion ecológica del Parana. Interciencia 15: 424–441.Google Scholar
  49. Neiff, J. J., 2001. Diversity in some tropical wetland systems of South América. In Gopal B., W. J. Junk & J. A. Davis (eds), Biodiversity in wetlands: assessment, function and conservation. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, 157–186.Google Scholar
  50. Okada, E. K., 1995. Diversidade e abundância de peixes em corpos de água sazonalmente isolados na planície alagável do alto rio Paraná e fatores ambientais relacionados. Master Thesis, PPG Ecologia de Ambientes Aquáticos Continentais, Universidade Estadual de Maringá.Google Scholar
  51. Okada, E. K., A. A. Agostinho, M. Petrere Jr. & T. Penczak, 2003. Factors affecting fish diversity and abundance in drying ponds and lagoons in the Upper Paraná River basin, Brazil. Ecohydrology & Hydrobiology 3: 97–110.Google Scholar
  52. Oliveira, E. F., E. A. Luiz, A. A. Agostinho & E. Benedito-Cecílio, 2001. Fish assemblages in littoral areas of the Upper Paraná River floodplain, Brazil. Acta Scientiarum 23: 369–376.Google Scholar
  53. Pagioro, T. A., M. C. Roberto, F. A. Lansac-Tôha, 1997. Comparative limnological analysis of two lagoons on the floodplain of the Upper Paraná River, Brazil. International Journal of Environmental Sciences 23: 229–239.Google Scholar
  54. Panosso, R. & L. Kubrusly, 2000. Avaliação espacial e temporal das variáveis limnológicas básicas e nutrientes. In Bozelli R. L., F. A. Esteves & F. Roland (eds), Impacto e recuperação de um ecossistema amazônico. UFRJ/SBL, Rio de Janeiro, 55–71.Google Scholar
  55. Pedroli, B., G. de Blust, K. van Looy & S. van Rooij, 2002. Setting targets in strategies for river restoration. Landscape Ecology 17: 5–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Pelicice, F., A. A. Agostinho & S. M. Thomaz, 2005. Fish assemblages associated with Egeria in a tropical reservoir: investigating the effects of plant biomass and diel period. Acta Oecologica 27: 9–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Rodríguez, M. A. & W. M. Lewis Jr., 1994. Regulation and stability in fish assemblages of neotropical floodplain lakes. Oecologia 99: 166–180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Rodríguez, M. A. & W. M. Lewis Jr., 1997. Structure of fish assemblages along environmental gradients in floodplain lakes of the Orinoco River. Ecological Monographs 67: 109–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Roland, F., 2000. Produção primária fitoplanctônica. In Bozelli R. L., F. A. Esteves & F. Roland (eds), Impacto e recuperação de um ecossistema amazônico. UFRJ/SBL, Rio de Janeiro, 105–117.Google Scholar
  60. Santos, A. M., S. M. Thomaz, in press. Aquatic macrophytes diversity in lagoons of a tropical floodplain: the role of connectivity and water level. Austral Ecology.Google Scholar
  61. Santos, A. M., 2004. Macrófitas aquáticas da planície de inundação do alto rio Paraná: produtividade primária, decomposição, ciclagem de nutrientes e diversidade. Doctoral Thesis, PPG Ecologia de Ambientes Aquáticos Continentais, Universidade Estadual de Maringá.Google Scholar
  62. Schemel, L. E., T. R. Somme, A. B. Muller-Solger & W. C. Harrel, 2004. Hydrologic variability, water chemistry and phytoplankton biomass in a large floodplain of the Sacramento River, CA, US. Hydrobiologia 513: 129–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Sheldon, F., A. J. Boulton & J. T. Puckridge, 2002. Conservation value of variable connectivity: aquatic invertebrate assemblages of channel and floodplain habitats of a central Australian arid-zone river, Cooper Creek. Biological Conservation 103: .Google Scholar
  64. Souza-Filho, E. E., P. C. Rocha, E. Comunello & J. C. Stevaux, 2004. Effects of Porto Primavera dam on physical environment of the downstream floodplain. In Thomaz S. M., A. A. Agostinho & N. S. Hahn (eds), The Upper Paraná River and its floodplain: Physical aspects, ecology and conservation. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, 55–74.Google Scholar
  65. Standford, J. A. & J. V. Ward, 1993. An ecosystem perspective of alluvial rivers connectivity and the hyporheic corridor. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 12: 48–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Taniguchi, G. M., D. C. Bicudo & P. A. C. Senna, 2004. Abiotic variables in littoral-limnetic gradient of an oxbow lake of Mogi-Guaçu River floodplain, Southeastern, Brazil. Brazilian Archives of Biology and Technology 47: 961–971.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Thomaz, S. M., M. C. Roberto, L. M. Bini, 1997. Caracterização limnológica dos ambientes aquáticos e influência dos níveis fluviométricos. In: Vazzoler A. E. A. M., Agostinho A. A., Hahn N. S., (eds), Planície de inundação do alto rio Paraná: aspectos físicos, biológicos e socioeconômicos Eduem Maringá 74–102.Google Scholar
  68. Thomaz, S. M., L. M. Bini, T. A. Pagioro, K. J. Murphy, A. M. Santos, D. C. Souza, 2004. Aquatic macrophytes: diversity, biomass and decomposition. In Thomaz S. M., A. A. Agostinho & N. S. Hahn (eds), The Upper Paraná River and its floodplain: Physical aspects, ecology and conservation. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, 331–352.Google Scholar
  69. Tockner, K., D. Pennetzdorfer, N. Reiner, F. Schiemer & J. V. Ward, 1999. Hydrological connectivity, and the exchange of organic matter and nutrients in a dynamic river-floodplain system (Danube, Austria). Freshwater Biology 41: 521–535.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Tockner, K. & J. V. Ward, 1999. Biodiversity along riparian corridors. Large Rivers 11: 293–310.Google Scholar
  71. Tockner, K., F. Malard & J. V. Ward, 2000a. An extension of the flood pulse concept. Hydrological Processes 14: 2861–2883.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Tockner, K., Baumgartner, C., Schiemer, F. & J. V. Ward, 2000b. Biodiversity of a Danubian floodplain: structural, functional and compositional aspects. In Gopal B., W. J. Junk & J. A. Davis (eds), Biodiversity in wetlands: assessment, function and conservation. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, 141–159.Google Scholar
  73. Tockner, K., F. Malard, U. Uehlinger & J. V. Ward, 2002. Nutrients and organic matter in a glacial river-floodplain system (Val Roseg, Switzerland). Limnology and Oceanography 47: 266–277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Train, S. & L. C. Rodrigues, 2004. Phytoplanktonic assemblages. In Thomaz S. M., A. A. Agostinho & N. S. Hahn (eds), The Upper Paraná River and its floodplain: Physical aspects, ecology and conservation. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, 103–124.Google Scholar
  75. van Looy, K., O. Honnay, B. Bossuyt & M. Hermy, 2004. The effects of river embardment and forest fragmentation on the plant species richness and composition of floodplain forests in the Meuse Valley, Belgium. Belgian Journal of Botany 136: 97–108.Google Scholar
  76. Veríssimo, S., 1994. Variações na composição da ictiofauna em três lagoas sazonalmente isoladas, na planície de inundação do alto rio Paraná, ilha de Porto Rico, PT-Brasil. Master Thesis, PPG em Ecologia e Recursos Naturais, Universidade Federal de São Carlos.Google Scholar
  77. Ward, J. V. & K. Tockner, 2001. Biodiversity: towards a unifying theme for river ecology. Freshwater Biology 46: 807–819.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Zalocar de Domitrovic, Y., 2003. Effect of fluctuations of water level on phytoplankton development in three lakes of the Paraná River floodplain (Argentina). Hydrobiologia 510: 175–193.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sidinei M. Thomaz
    • 1
  • Luis Mauricio Bini
    • 2
  • Reinaldo Luiz Bozelli
    • 3
  1. 1.Universidade Estadual de MaringáMaringáBrasil
  2. 2.Universidade Federal de Goiás, ICB, DBGGoiâniaBrasil
  3. 3.Departamento de EcologiaUniversidade Federal do Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrasil

Personalised recommendations