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22-3_The fish fauna of sessile hydrophytes stands…..

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SINGLE PAPER

Volume 22, Issue 3 – 15 July 2016

Nelson Flausino Junior, Francisco A. Machado, Jansen S. Zuanon and Efrem J. Ferreira: The fish fauna of sessile hydrophytes stands (Mourera spp.: Podostemaceae) in the Dardanelos Waterfalls, Rio Aripuanã, Brazil, pp. 133-144

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SINGLE PAPER

Volume 22, Issue 3 – 15 July 2016

Nelson Flausino Junior, Francisco A. Machado, Jansen S. Zuanon and Efrem J. Ferreira: The fish fauna of sessile hydrophytes stands (Mourera spp.: Podostemaceae) in the Dardanelos Waterfalls, Rio Aripuanã, Brazil, pp. 133-144

Abstract
The upper Rio Aripuanã, a clear water tributary of Rio Madeira, Mato Grosso, Brazil, present extensive rapids stretches, which culminate in the Dardanelos and Andorinhas waterfalls complex. In these environments, stands of sessile plants of the family Podostemaceae harbor several species of strongly rheophilic fish. This study aimed to characterize the fish fauna associated with the stands of Podostemaceae at the rio Aripuanã, describing the trophic ecology of the species, as well as the general trophic structure of these fish assemblages. The study was based on direct underwater observation of fish during snorkeling sessions in the rapids, as well as on examination of specimens collected using standardized fishing methods and sampling efforts. Multivariate analysis was used to evaluate the main pattern of spatial and temporal changes in fish assemblages associated with Podostemaceae stands. Overall, 29 species of fish were found associated with plant stands, but occupying different  microhabitats among the hydrophytes and using specialized foraging tactics. Most fish species consumed predominantly autochthonous food items. Rapids stretches and waterfalls are particularly sensitive to anthropic impacts that could cause the disappearance of Podostemaceae communities and their associated fauna. The conservation of this stretch of the rio Aripuanã is very important to maintain these rheophilic plants and its associated fish fauna.