Diversity, Species Composition and Assemblage Dynamics of Estuarine Gelatinous and Semi-Gelatinous Zooplankton from Brazil

  • Miodeli NogueiraJr.
  • Lorena Silva do Nascimento
  • Pedro Vieira Maciel
  • Sebastião Tilbert
  • Lívia Dias Oliveira


The literature on gelatinous (Cnidaria, Ctenophora, Tunicata) and semi-gelatinous (Chaetognatha) zooplankton from 32 Brazilian estuaries is reviewed. Altogether 104 species have been recorded, 70 cnidarians, 2 ctenophores, 14 chaetognaths, 13 appendicularians and 5 thaliaceans. All groups are understudied with only few detailed data available. Most of these gelatinous and semi-gelatinous taxa are typically oceanic, and thus the low diversity in estuarine systems was expected and is not probable to increase much with increasing sampling effort. Contrary, the meroplanktonic hydromedusae from the orders Anthoathecata and Leptothecata are diversified in estuarine ecosystems and the respectively 29 and 19 species currently reported from Brazilian estuaries are an underestimation and certainly will increase considerably with increased sampling effort. The best-studied taxa are the chaetognaths, followed by appendicularians, and very little is known about the other taxa, particularly concerning ctenophores and thaliaceans. We summarize the main tendencies of each taxon regarding diversity, abundance, temporal and spatial variations, species composition, and the most abundant species. In addition, we also provide general guidelines for future research on gelatinous and semi-gelatinous zooplankton taxa from Brazilian estuaries.


Cnidaria Ctenophora Chaetognatha Tunicata Brazilian estuaries 



We are deeply indebted to Dras. Graciela Esnal and Tulia Aguilar Martinez for kindly providing important references and to Dr. Leonardo Kenji Miyashita and Dra. Catarina Marcolin for generously providing their original data abundances from different estuaries. Dra Elena Guerrero read the text and provided useful suggestions. Dra. Monica Susana Hoffmeyer and Dr. Frederico Pereira Brandini are acknowledged for their invitation and patience during the development of this study. MNJ also acknowledges Dr. Renato Mitsuo Nagata for his friendship and encouragement.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miodeli NogueiraJr.
    • 1
  • Lorena Silva do Nascimento
    • 2
  • Pedro Vieira Maciel
    • 1
  • Sebastião Tilbert
    • 1
    • 3
  • Lívia Dias Oliveira
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Sistemática e EcologiaUniversidade Federal da ParaíbaJoão PessoaBrazil
  2. 2.Centro de Estudos do MarUniversidade Federal do ParanáParanáBrazil
  3. 3.Laboratório de Meiofauna, Centro de Educação e SaúdeUniversidade Federal de Campina GrandeCuitéBrazil

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