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01.01.2014 | Original article | Ausgabe 1/2014

Population Ecology 1/2014

Occupancy dynamics in small-stream habitats: niches define the responses to floods by two neotropical fishes

Zeitschrift:
Population Ecology > Ausgabe 1/2014
Autoren:
Karlo Yoshihiro Pioto Hakamada, Jerry Penha

Abstract

We modeled the occupancy dynamics of the benthic chum-chum (Pimelodella cf. gracilis) and the midwater threespot leporinus (Leporinus friderici) to determine how these fish species respond to disturbances caused by stream flooding. Fieldwork was conducted in two neotropical streams in central Brazil. Both species occupied fewer sites during floods than during periods with stable hydrology. The percentage of sites occupied by threespot leporinus increased from 57 to 75 %, and the percentage occupied by chum-chum increased from 27 to 87 %. Threespot leporinus moved upstream after floods, first recolonizing the sites farthest downstream and then recolonizing those farthest upstream. In contrast, chum-chum remained in several scattered sites along the stream during floods and recolonized nearby sites from these sources (i.e., colonization was not spatially concentrated). During wet hydroperiods, chum-chum used sites with water velocities ranging from 0.35 to 0.75 m/s. During the dry period, this range increased to 0.20–0.90 m/s (in sites that were colonized after the floods ended). Our results also showed that both species were more easily detected by snorkeling during the dry hydroperiod and that characteristics such as the substrate type and water velocity had different effects on the detectability of the two species. Overall, our study indicated that the annual persistence of threespot leporinus depends largely on seasonal upstream-biased movement, whereas the chum-chum population depends on the seasonal scattered colonization of temporary sites.

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