Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

p. 239-244

Estimating cyclopoid copepod species richness and geographical distribution (Crustacea) across a large hydrographical basin: comparing between samples from water column (plankton) and macrophyte stands

Perbiche-Neves, GilmarRocha, Carlos E. F. daNogueira, Marcos G

Species richness and geographical distribution of Cyclopoida freshwater copepods were analyzed along the "La Plata" River basin. Ninety-six samples were taken from 24 sampling sites, twelve sites for zooplankton in open waters and twelve sites for zooplankton within macrophyte stands, including reservoirs and lotic stretches. There were, on average, three species per sample in the plankton compared to five per sample in macrophytes. Six species were exclusive to the plankton, 10 to macrophyte stands, and 17 were common to both. Only one species was found in similar proportions in plankton and macrophytes, while five species were widely found in plankton, and thirteen in macrophytes. The distinction between species from open water zooplankton and macrophytes was supported by nonmetric multidimensional analysis. There was no distinct pattern of endemicity within the basin, and double sampling contributes to this result. This lack of sub-regional faunal differentiation is in accordance with other studies that have shown that cyclopoids generally have wide geographical distribution in the Neotropics and that some species there are cosmopolitan. This contrasts with other freshwater copepods such as Calanoida and some Harpacticoida. We conclude that sampling plankton and macrophytes together provided a more accurate estimate of the richness and geographical distribution of these organisms than sampling in either one of those zones alone.(AU)

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