Castellanos-Galindo, Gustavo A and Krumme, U (2014) Long-term stability of tidal and diel-related patterns in mangrove creek fish assemblages in North Brazil. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 149 . pp. 264-272. DOI

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Intertidal fish assemblages are thought to respond to tidal and diel rhythms although the assumption that these patterns are stable over long time scales (>1 year) is largely untested. Testing the validity of this assumption is necessary to assess whether short-term temporal patterns, once established, can be extrapolated over time and give a better understanding of the temporal dynamics of fish assemblages in coastal habitats. Here, we compare the fish assemblage structure from two intertidal mangrove creeks in North Brazil (Bragança Peninsula, Caeté estuary) sampled with the same sampling methodology (block nets), effort (two lunar cycles) and design (accounting for the combination of tidal and diel cycle) in the rainy seasons of 1999 and 2012 to evaluate the persistence, stability and recurrence of short-term patterns in the fish community organization. The interaction of tidal and diel cycles (inundations at spring tide-night, spring tide-day, neap tide-night, neap tide-day), found to be stable after 13 years, resulted in recurrent and stable intertidal mangrove fish assemblage compositions. The intertidal mangrove creek fish assemblage consisted of a persistent number of dominant species (seven). However, there were notable changes in fish catch mass, abundance and species dominance between 1999 and 2012. The most severe drought in North Brazil in 30 years, linked to lower precipitation and river runoff in the rainy season of 2012, may have resulted in (1) lower abundance of small juveniles of several dominant species in this assemblage (especially Ariidae – Cathorops agassizii and Sciades herzbergii) and (2) increased dominance of large-sized specimens of the tetraodontid Colomesus psittacus. Our findings highlight: (1) the overriding importance and stability of the interactive pulse of the tidal and diel cycles in determining short-term temporal patterns in intertidal mangrove fish assemblages in neotropical macrotidal estuaries despite the occurrence of extreme events (i.e. major decrease in rainfall) and (2) the large-scale influence that these extreme events can exert on recruitment processes in tropical estuarine fish assemblages.

Document Type: Article
Programme Area: UNSPECIFIED
Research affiliation: Ecology > Fisheries Biology
Integrated Modelling > Resource Management
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
ISSN: 02727714
Date Deposited: 08 Aug 2019 17:59
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2020 12:59

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