Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

Use of food resources and resource partitioning among five syntopic species of Hypostomus (Teleostei: Loricariidae) in an Atlantic Forest river in southern Brazil

Abilhoa, ViniciusValduga, Marcos OFrehse, Fabricio de AVitule, Jean R. S

We analyzed the diet and resource partitioning among five syntopic species of Hypostomus Lacépède, 1803 in the Corumbataí River in southeastern Brazil. The gut contents of 352 individuals were assessed and 21 food items were identified and quantified under an optical microscope. The food items found in the gut contents indicate that these suckermouth loricariids are bottom-dwelling detritivorous/periphytivorous catfishes. PERMANOVA and SIMPER analyses indicated variation in the consumption of some resources, and the contribution of periphytic algae was primarily responsible for such dissimilarity. ECOSIM analyses of dietary overlap showed evidence of resource sharing among all species in the dry and rainy periods. This is most likely the result of the predominance of detritus and autochthonous items such as algae and aquatic immature insects in all gut contents. Our data suggest that trophic resources available in the Corumbataí River are explored and partitioned among Hypostomus species, all specialized in surface-grazing foraging behaviour.(AU)

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