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Spatial and temporal variation in densities of chironomid larvae (Diptera) in two lagoons and two tributaries of the upper Paraná River floodplain, Brazil

Author(s): HIGUTI J. | TAKEDA A. M.

Journal: Brazilian Journal of Biology
ISSN 1519-6984

Volume: 62;
Issue: 4b;
Start page: 807;
Date: 2002;
Original page

Keywords: Chironomidae | zoobenthos | floodplain | spatial and temporal variation

Chironomid larvae were collected and abiotic variables measured at monthly intervals at 21 sampling stations in two lagoons (Guaraná and Patos) and two tributaries (Baía and Ivinheima) of the Upper Paraná River floodplain. The genera Procladius, Chironomus, Goeldichironomus, and Polypedilum were dominant in the lagoons and in the Baía River, while Cryptochironomus and Lopescladius were more dominant in the Ivinheima River. The similarity in the generic composition of the chironomids of the lagoons and the Baía River is probably due to the fact that this river presents hydrodynamic characteristics similar to those of the lagoons. The results obtained suggest that the hydrodynamics of these environments are the main factor determining spatial variation in the chironomid fauna. This is intuitively clear, as this factor itself determines sediment type, quantity of organic matter and presence or absence of aquatic macrophytes. However, on a seasonal scale, the flood pulse seems to be the main controlling factor of the temporal variation in densities and dominance of chironomid larvae. Given that this factor has a large influence on the temporal dynamics of several limnological variables, this is again a logical correlation. Our results suggest a strong relationship between the variations in the chironomid community and fluctuations in limnological characteristics.
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