Acta Limnologica Brasiliensia
https://actalb.org/article/doi/10.1590/S2179-975X3221
Acta Limnologica Brasiliensia
Original Article

Integrated tools to evaluate environmental conditions in estuarine streams of Northeastern Brazil

Ferramentas integradas para avaliação da qualidade ambiental em córregos estuarinos no Nordeste do Brasil

Robert Germano Alves da Silva; María Angélica Pérez-Mayorga; Renato de Mei Romero

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Abstract

Abstract:: Aim: This work proposes the application and development of environmental quality indexes for the evaluation of tropical estuarine streams in different spatial scales. The main goal was to understand the biological responses of the ichthyofauna in relation to different spatial indices in each group of streams, according to their predominant land use. Our hypothesis is that the impact on the stream riparian zones and in the land use in adjacent areas to the stream interfere in the structure of the fish assembly.

Methods: The Physical Habitat Integrity Index (PHI) on the local scale (80.0 m) and the Microbasin Integrity Index (MII) on catchment scale (1.6 km radius) was applied in all streams. In parallel, fish collections with electric fishing equipment were carried out in the 80.0 m reach. With the data from the PHI, MII and ecological estimators (species richness and percentage of Poecilia reticulata), the Kruskal-Wallis non-parametric test and Dunn’s post hoc test were carried out to verify the differences between the groups of land use, followed by a linear and polynomial regression analysis with trend line to show a relationship among indexes used and the biological responses.

Results: We observed that all streams’ groups presented a high positive correlation among PHI and MII. However, ecological estimators did not respond to changes in land use linearly, but in the form of a parable in a polynomial regression.

Conclusions: Our main conclusion is that the use of indexes and estimators as tools for environmental assessment is an efficient way to assess the health of the streams. The results also show that the integration of local and spatial indexes reduces the distortions observed in the indexes in isolation.

Keywords

stream habitat quality, spatial evaluation, tropical estuary, estuarine fishes

Resumo

Resumo:: Objetivo: Este trabalho propõe a aplicação e o desenvolvimento de índices de qualidade ambiental para a avaliação de riachos estuarinos tropicais em diferentes escalas espaciais. O objetivo foi compreender as respostas biológicas da ictiofauna em relação a diferentes índices de perturbação para cada grupo de riachos, segundo o uso de terra predominante. Nossa hipótese é que o impacto na zona ripária do riacho pelo uso do solo em áreas adjacentes aos riachos interfere na estruturação da assembleia de peixes.

Métodos: Os Índices de Integridade Física do Habitat (IFH), em escala local (80,0 m), e o Índice de Integridade da Microbacia (IIM), em um raio de 1,6 km, foram aplicados em todos os riachos. Paralelamente, foram realizadas coletas de peixes com equipamento de pesca elétrica em um trecho de 80,0 m. Com os dados dos estimadores IFH, IIM e biológicos (riqueza de espécies e porcentagem de P. reticulata), foram realizados os testes não paramétricos de Kruskal-Wallis e de Dunn post hoc para verificar as diferenças entre os grupos de uso do solo, acompanhados de uma análise de regressão linear e polinomial com linhas de tendências que mostram uma relação entre os índices utilizados e as respostas biológicas.

Resultados: Observamos que todos os grupos de riachos apresentaram correlação positiva alta para os índices IIM e IFH. No entanto, os estimadores ecológicos não respondem às mudanças no uso da terra de forma linear, mas na forma de uma parábola com uma tendência polinomial.

Conclusões: Nossa principal conclusão é que a utilização de índices e estimadores como ferramentas de avaliação ambiental é uma maneira eficiente de avaliar a saúde de riachos. Os resultados também mostram que a integração dos índices locais e de paisagem reduzem as distorções observadas nos índices isoladamente.
 

Palavras-chave

qualidade de habitat em riacho, avaliação espacial, estuário tropical, peixes estuarinos

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Submitted date:
04/30/2021

Accepted date:
06/22/2023

Publication date:
07/19/2023

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