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Factors regulating diversity and abundance of fish communities in Pantanal lagoons, Brazil

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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.
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Keywords: Brazil; Pantanal; diversity; floodplain lagoons; freshwater fish communities

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 February 2004

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