Factors regulating diversity and abundance of fish communities in Pantanal lagoons, Brazil
The factors effecting fish species richness, evenness and relative abundance in 19 floodplain lagoons in the Pantanal (Brazil) were examined. Richness and evenness were strongly correlated with the lagoon's: (i) isolation time from the main river; (ii) depth; and (iii) distance from the main river. Abundance of the five dominant fish species was correlated mainly with: (a) macrophyte cover; (b) the distance from the main river; and (c) piscivore abundance. These results suggest that the species select lagoons to avoid or minimize their confinement in inappropriate floodplain habitats. A combination of strategies, together with variations in the lagoon's connection period, determines the diversity and abundance of the fish species in the Nhecolândia Pantanal.