Marine intrusion and freshwater discharge as opposite forces driving fish guilds distribution along coastal plain streams

Bastos, Rodrigo Ferreira; Calliari, Lauro Júlio; Garcia, Alexandre Miranda


This work investigated variations in fish guilds along marine surf zone to freshwater reaches of coastal plain streams and their relationships with environmental factors. Fish and abiotic data were collected monthly during 1 year and an automatic image-recording system was used to monitor marine intrusion events. Aside ephemeral salinity gradients produced by storm surges, freshwater conditions prevailed inside streams. Despite of that, fish habitat use guilds were spatially distributed according to their salinity tolerance, with marine species occurring mainly in the stream site near the adjacent surf zone and non-salinity tolerant freshwater fish in the upstream site. Marine intrusion was the main factor correlated with the entrance of marine-related fish into streams during summer. In contrast, higher rainfall during colder months prevented the dominance of marine species. This work highlighted that spatial segregation in fish habitat use guild could occur even in the absence of long-lasting salinity gradients, since active colonization by euryhaline fish and sporadic marine intrusions can lead to the occurrence of marine-related fish in coastal plain streams. Future studies should evaluate if this marine intrusion role on fish of coastal plain streams would be affected by changes in sea level and rainfall in a global warming scenario

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  • IO - Artigos publicados em periódicos