Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

p. 426-434

Effects of spatial and environmental factors on benthic a macroinvertebrate community

Rezende, Renan SSantos, Anderson MHenke-Oliveira, CarlosGonçalves Jr, José F

Interactions between terrestrial and aquatic systems influence the structure of river habitats and, consequently, affect their benthic macroinvertebrate composition. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of spatial and environmental variables (local physical and chemical variables of water and regional landscape characteristics) on the benthic macroinvertebrate community of the Pandeiros River Basin. Biotic and abiotic variables were evaluated at 20 sampling sites distributed across the primary sub-basins of the Pandeiros River Basin. We found that the macroinvertebrates were primarily affected by environmental variables. The most important environmental variables were pebble proportion and water conductivity at the local scale (7.2% of explained variation) and elevation and nonforest areas at the regional scale (6.9% of explained variation). The spatial variables were representative only in shared explained variation with the environmental matrices (local-spatial = 0.2% and regional-spatial = 2%; all matrices combined = 4.4%). Sampling sites with higher non-forest areas, lower elevations, and steeper slopes presented low pebble fractions and higher electrical conductivities. Habitat diversity was lower when the percentage of pebbles decreased, resulting in decreased taxonomic richness and diversity in macroinvertebrate communities. High electrical conductivities and non-forest areas also had negative effects on macroinvertebrate density due to the loss of habitat diversity. We conclude that higher proportions of pebbles in the substrate and higher altitudes were likely the primary variables for positive effects on the taxonomic richness and density of macroinvertebrate communities.(AU)

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