Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

p. 28-34

Ecomorphological relationships among four Characiformes fish species in a tropical reservoir in south-eastern Brazil

Silva-Camacho, Débora de SSantos, Joaquim N. de SGomes, Rafaela de SAraújo, Francisco G

The aim of this study was to assess the ecomorphological patterns and diet of four Characiformes fish species in a poorly physically structured tropical reservoir. We tested the hypothesis that body shape and diet are associated, because environmental pressure acts on the phenotype, selecting traits according to the available resources. Ten ecomorphological attributes of 45 individuals of each species - Astyanax cf. bimaculatus (Linnaeus, 1758), Astyanax parahybae Eigenmann, 1908, Oligosarcus hepsetus (Cuvier, 1829), and Metynnis maculatus (Kner, 1858) - , collected between February and November 2003, were analyzed, and the patterns were assessed using Principal Components Analysis (PCA). Diet similarity among fish species was assessed using cluster analysis on feeding index. The first two axes from PCA explained 61.73% of the total variance, with the first axis being positively correlated with the compression index and relative height, whereas the second axis was positively correlated with the pectoral fin aspect. Two well-defined trophic groups, one herbivorous/specialist (M. maculatus) and the other formed by two omnivorous/generalist (A. cf. bimaculatus, A. parahybae) and one insectivorous-piscivorous (O. hepsetus) were revealed by the cluster analysis. Astyanax. cf. bimaculatus and A. parahybae differed. The first has comparatively greater relative height, relative length of the caudal peduncle and lower caudal peduncle compression index. However, we did not detect a close correspondence between diet and body shape in the reservoir, and inferred that the ecomorphological hypothesis of a close relationship between body shape and diet in altered systems could be not effective.(AU)

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