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Fish-habitat relationship in a tropical river under anthropogenic influences

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Abstract

This study analyzes the interaction of fish assemblages with 14 physicochemical and hydrogeomorphological variables at 31 sampling stations along the watershed of the Meia Ponte River, Upper Paraná Basin, Central Brazil, during low and high water seasons in 2001. This river and its tributaries drain both urban and agricultural areas. Fish were caught with sieves along a 100 m stretch demarcated in every sampling site, where environmental variables were also measured. A total of 3508 individuals belonging to 31 species were collected. Fish abundance and environmental data matrices were submitted to a multivariate analysis of co-inertia. Two axes were retained for interpretation (total variance explained = 63.65%) indicating that pH, water temperature, conductivity, chemical dissolved oxygen, and turbidity, all have an influence on fish assemblage structure. The co-structure found (fish assemblages and physicochemical variables) is correlated in both of the axes considered (r = 0.73 and r = 0.68, respectively), and is statistically significant (Monte Carlo test, P < 0.001). This co-structure is regulated by seasonality, but is influenced by fish habitat preferences, spawning and available food, the extent and effects of anthropogenic activities (domestic sewage, agriculture, ranching, urban areas) and the position of sampling stations along the watershed.

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Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to the Agência Ambiental de Goiás, and in particular to Rodrigo Porfírio, for their collaboration and support in both field and laboratory, undergraduate Biology students from the Catholic University of Goiás (UCG), the technical staff of the Centro de Biologia Aquática, particularly Waldeir Francisco de Menezes, Mônica Mazini, and in particular Patrick John O’Sullivan (UCG) and Anne Mary Staunton for their revision and suggestions for English style and grammar of the first draft and Dr. José Alexandre Felizola Diniz Filho (Federal University of Goiás) and two anonymous reviewers for their valuable suggestions, and Dr. Robert Hughes (Oregon State University) for his critical reading and English correction. LGO is supported by a CNPq productivity fellowship.

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Correspondence to Francisco Leonardo Tejerina-Garro.

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Fialho, A.P., Oliveira, L.G., Tejerina-Garro, F.L. et al. Fish-habitat relationship in a tropical river under anthropogenic influences. Hydrobiologia 598, 315–324 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-007-9165-3

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