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Species composition and spatial distribution of a stream fish assemblage in the east coast of Brazil: comparison of two field study methodologies

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Author(s): UIEDA V. S. | UIEDA W.

Journal: Brazilian Journal of Biology
ISSN 1519-6984

Volume: 61;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 377;
Date: 2001;
Original page

Keywords: coastal stream | spatial distribution | species composition | fish assemblage | underwater observation

ABSTRACT
The species composition and spatial distribution of a fish assemblage were studied in three reaches of a river in the east coast of Brazil: a section of rapids (upper), another of water flowing on plain terrain (lowland) and the other of a mangrove environment. Two methods were employed with the purpose of estimating their effectiveness in naturalistic studies of tropical fish assemblages. One method consisted of underwater observations and the other was characterized by catches using gears such as fish traps, sieves and fishing rods. Both methods showed that their effectiveness is dependent upon the characteristics of the environment and the biology of the species. In areas of high water transparency and flow speed, rocky substrate and no submerged marginal vegetation (upper reach), the employment of the traditional gears was quite inefficient, despite the excellent conditions for underwater observations. In areas of clear water and high flow speed with abundant submerged marginal vegetation (lowland and mangrove), the gears were rather efficient yielding excellent results when coupled with direct observation methods. Since the abiotic characteristics of a stream change longitudinally, it is appropriate to employ different methods in the study of the ichthyofauna composition and distribution in order to reduce the constraints imposed by sampling methods in running waters.
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