Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 85, Issue 2, pp 99–108 | Cite as

Temporal organization of fish assemblages in floodplain lagoons: the role of hydrological connectivity

  • Rodrigo Fernandes
  • Luiz Carlos Gomes
  • Fernando Mayer Pelicice
  • Angelo Antonio Agostinho


The present study evaluated the hypothesis that after flooding events, non-random patterns of species co-occurrence (segregation) are progressively intensified in fish assemblages inhabiting seasonally isolated lagoons. We sampled lagoons in the upper Paraná River floodplain between 1992 and 1993, and classified them into five hydrological phases, according to their surface connectivity. During the period of isolation (9 months), lagoons depth decreased progressively, but desiccation was reversed after 4 months (possibly due to groundwater infiltration and rainfall). A significant co-occurrence pattern (segregation) occurred in the last phase, supporting our initial hypothesis. However, richness, abundance and composition were significantly correlated with habitat depth, indicating that assemblage structure and organization is closely associated with dynamics of habitat retraction/expansion during isolation. Although environmental conditions of lagoons (absence of prolonged desiccation) prevented an adequate test of our hypothesis, our data suggests that, in addition to the importance of surface floods, the hydrological cycle as a whole has a crucial role shaping the organization of fish assemblages in floodplain lagoons seasonally isolated.


Assemblage succession Species co-occurrence Null model C-score Species richness Neotropical 



The authors are especially indebted to Edson K. Okada, which kindly supplied all data analyzed in the present study. The authors also thank PEA, NUPELIA and Maringá State University for providing ideal conditions and logistical support. CNPq provided a scholarship for the first author.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rodrigo Fernandes
    • 1
    • 4
  • Luiz Carlos Gomes
    • 2
  • Fernando Mayer Pelicice
    • 1
    • 3
  • Angelo Antonio Agostinho
    • 2
  1. 1.Graduate Course in Ecology of Inland Aquatic EcosystemsMaringá State UniversityMaringáBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Biology/NUPELIAMaringá State UniversityMaringáBrazil
  3. 3.Neamb, Graduate Course in Ecotone EcologyFederal University of TocantinsPalmasBrazil
  4. 4.MaringáBrasil

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