Fish fauna of the Pelotas River, Upper Uruguay River, southern Brazil
Keywords:Freshwater, upland river, ichthyofauna, inventory, species richness
AbstractAbstract: The fish fauna of the Pelotas River, in the Upper Uruguay ecoregion of southern Brazil was inventoried. Samplings were performed quarterly between August 2013 and May 2014 at 14 sites in the Pelotas River and its tributaries, using gill nets of different mesh sizes, sein nets, cast nets and electrofishing. In total, 7,745 specimens were recorded, comprising 46 species, belonging to 13 families and five orders. Approximately 80% of the species belonged to the orders Characiformes and Siluriformes, as well as the families Characidae and Loricariidae, which included a greater number of species. Of the total species, 24% were endemic to the Upper Uruguay River, four were identified only at the genus level and none was considered non-native. Approximately, half of the 98 species previously recorded for the Upper Uruguay basin were also detected in this study. The tributaries of the Pelotas River exhibited different faunas with five exclusive species. Thirty species were present in both the tributaries and the main channel. In addition, higher species richness, as well as the presence of larger-sized species were observed in the main channel. Many of the species not restricted to the Upper Uruguay River have already been reported as part of the Taquari-Antas River fauna. However, the local biodiversity of this region is under several threats, such as land use and installation of small hydroelectric plants. These results highlight the importance of the conservation of plateau/upland rivers, especially in the Upper Uruguay ecoregion, which shows a peculiar fish fauna and endemism.
How to Cite
Delariva, R. L., Neves, M. P., Baumgartner, G., & Baumgartner, D. (2019). Fish fauna of the Pelotas River, Upper Uruguay River, southern Brazil. Biota Neotropica, 19(3). Retrieved from https://www.biotaneotropica.org.br/BN/article/view/1656