Structure and composition of fish assemblages from São Sebastião Channel tide pools, southwestern Atlantic


  • Gabriela Pastro Universidade Federal do ABC
  • Gustavo Muniz Dias Universidade Federal do ABC
  • Fernando Zaniolo Gibran Universidade Federal do ABC


Subtropical fish, intertidal zone, environmental factors, species richness, Southeastern Brazil


Abstract Organisms living in tide pools in the intertidal zone are exposed to daily and abrupt changes in temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH and salinity, during tidal cycles. Fish assemblages in tide pools are usually very different from those in surrounding areas; resident species exhibit morphological and ecological adaptations to deal with such a variable environment. In this study, we described the environmental conditions and the fish diversity and composition from four tide pools at the continental margin of the São Sebastião Channel, São Sebastião (23º41'-23º54'S; 45º19'-45º30'W), in southeastern Brazil. Monthly, from January to December 2011, we sampled four tide pools (12 samples per pool), applying a standard protocol to record environmental variables, and visual censuses to record abundance, richness and composition of fish assemblages. Environmental and fish data were compared among tide pools and periods throughout the year (warm and cold) using both univariate and multivariate analyses of variance. Tide pools showed significant environmental differences, mainly in area, volume and complexity of substrata. We observed 13 species of fishes (10 families), which belong to five trophic guilds (roving herbivores, territorial herbivores, mobile invertebrate feeders, omnivores and carnivores). Density and richness of fish were almost constant during the studied period, except for a reduction in fish density in São Francisco's Beach during a cold period. However, assemblages from the sampled tide pools differed from each other in composition and relative abundance of species, resulting in four distinct assemblage structures. Bathygobius soporator was the dominant species in most of the tide pools, corresponding to 66% of all recorded fish. The tide pool from Baleeiro's Point was intermediate in size, but was covered by a complex algae community and supported the most diverse fish assemblage, suggesting that habitat complexity may contribute to the diversity of fish.




How to Cite

Pastro, G., Dias, G. M., & Gibran, F. Z. (2016). Structure and composition of fish assemblages from São Sebastião Channel tide pools, southwestern Atlantic. Biota Neotropica, 16(3). Retrieved from //