, Volume 826, Issue 1, pp 263–277 | Cite as

Contrasting associations between habitat conditions and stream aquatic biodiversity in a forest reserve and its surrounding area in the Eastern Amazon

  • Luciano F. A. Montag
  • Híngara Leão
  • Naraiana L. Benone
  • Cláudio S. Monteiro-Júnior
  • Ana Paula J. Faria
  • Gilberto Nicacio
  • Cristiane P. Ferreira
  • Diogo H. A. Garcia
  • Cleverson R. M. Santos
  • Paulo S. Pompeu
  • Kirk O. Winemiller
  • Leandro Juen
Primary Research Paper


Streams of protected areas should be subjected to less environmental degradation than surrounding areas and consequently support greater aquatic biodiversity. To test this, 186 environmental and landscape variables were measured in 34 streams within the Caxiuanã National Forest (CNF) and its surrounding zone in the eastern Amazon. We expected that streams inside the CNF protected area would have more riparian forest cover and large woody debris (LWD) that increase instream habitat complexity and aquatic biodiversity. Several environmental variables differed between streams in the CNF and surrounding zone; however, the major difference was greater LWD, leaf litter, and channel depth in CNF streams. Richness of fish, Chironomidae, EPT (Ephemeroptera + Plecoptera + Trichoptera), and all-groups combined were positively associated with LWD. Assemblage taxonomic composition was correlated with several variables, but most groups revealed no clear differentiation between the two areas. This lack of differentiation may be explained by relatively minor environmental impacts in areas surrounding the CNF given the region’s small human population. The most notable impact to streams outside of the CNF was removal of LWD to facilitate boat passage. To conserve aquatic biodiversity, we recommend expansion of protected areas and adoption of policies governing land use in surrounding zones.


Aquatic insects Fish Environmental impact Stream ecology Woody debris 



We are especially grateful to the employees of the Ferreira Penna Research Station for their assistance with fieldwork. This study was supported by grants from the Programa de Pesquisa em Biodiversidade, Fundação Amazônia de Amparo a Estudos e Pesquisa do Pará and the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) through CNPq/Universal (process: 475611/2012-8). LJ (process: 307597/2016-4), LFAM (process: 305017/201600) and PSP (process: 303548/2017-7). The first author was funded by Comissão de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal do Nível Superior (CAPES) (LFAM—process 88881.119097/2016-01). KOW received support from US National Science Foundation grant DEB 1257813. HL, NLB, CSMJ, APJF, GN, and DHAG received stipends from the CAPES, CNPq, and Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de Minas Gerais (PPM-00608/15) research fellowship.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 279 kb)


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Luciano F. A. Montag
    • 1
  • Híngara Leão
    • 1
    • 2
  • Naraiana L. Benone
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Cláudio S. Monteiro-Júnior
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ana Paula J. Faria
    • 1
    • 3
  • Gilberto Nicacio
    • 1
    • 2
  • Cristiane P. Ferreira
    • 4
  • Diogo H. A. Garcia
    • 2
  • Cleverson R. M. Santos
    • 5
  • Paulo S. Pompeu
    • 6
  • Kirk O. Winemiller
    • 7
  • Leandro Juen
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratório de Ecologia e Conservação, Instituto de Ciências BiológicasUniversidade Federal do ParáBelémBrazil
  2. 2.Programa de Pós-graduação em ZoologiaUniversidade Federal do Pará/Museu Paraense Emílio GoeldiBelémBrazil
  3. 3.Programa de Pós-graduação em Ecologia, Instituto de Ciências BiológicasUniversidade Federal do ParáBelémBrazil
  4. 4.Faculdade de Oceanografia, Instituto de GeociênciasUniversidade Federal do ParáBelémBrazil
  5. 5.Coordenação de Zoologia, Museu Paraense Emílio GoeldiBelémBrazil
  6. 6.Departamento de BiologiaUniversidade Federal de LavrasLavrasBrazil
  7. 7.Department of Wildlife and Fisheries SciencesTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA

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