Marine Biology

, Volume 143, Issue 6, pp 1047–1055 | Cite as

Diel and seasonal changes in the distribution of fish on a southeast Brazil sandy beach

  • André Luiz Machado Pessanha
  • Francisco Gerson AraújoEmail author
  • Márcia Cristina Costa De Azevedo
  • Iracema Dias Gomes
Research Article


The effect of diel and seasonal changes in the distribution of fishes on a subtropical sandy beach on the southeastern coast of Brazil were studied. Seine netting was carried out on both seasonal and diel scales between July 1998 and June 1999. A total of 46 fish species was recorded, six being numerically dominant: Anchoa tricolor, Gerres aprion, Harengula clupeola, Atherinella brasiliensis, Mugil liza and Diapterus rhombeus. Seasonal changes in abundance of dominant species were detected. Species dominant in winter were Anchoa tricolor, H. clupeola and Atherinella brasiliensis; in spring, Anchoa tricolor and G. aprion; in summer G. aprion and D. rhombeus; and in autumn M. liza and H. clupeola. Overall, diel patterns did not reveal any significant trends; however, if we consider each season separately, an increase in A. tricolor abundance was recorded during the day in winter/spring, being replaced at night by H. clupeola in winter, and by G. aprion in spring. Increases in number of individuals and biomass at sunset, and decreases during the night were recorded. The winter/spring inshore/offshore movements at diel scale performed by the three most abundant species demonstrate that diel fluctuation acts more at a species-specific level than at a structural one; in summer there was no evidence of diel movements due to a heavy influx of G. aprion and D. rhombeus, which use the area throughout day and night, increasing overall abundance. Seasonal movements seems to be related to ontogenetic change in species, while diel movements in the fish assemblage seem to be more related to physiological requirements, such feeding activity of each particular species, than to physico-chemical conditions.


Beach Fish Assemblage Detrended Correspondence Analysis Sandy Beach Juvenile Fish 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • André Luiz Machado Pessanha
    • 1
  • Francisco Gerson Araújo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Márcia Cristina Costa De Azevedo
    • 1
  • Iracema Dias Gomes
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratório de Ecologia de PeixesUniversidade Federal Rural do Rio de JaneiroSeropédicaBrazil

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