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Ecología austral

On-line version ISSN 1667-782X


MOLINERI, Carlos. Impact of rainbow trout on aquatic invertebrate communities in subtropical mountain streams of northwest Argentina. Ecol. austral [online]. 2008, vol.18, n.1, pp.101-117. ISSN 1667-782X.

The present study was conducted to assess the effect of rainbow trout introduction on benthic invertebrate communities, stratified as epibenthos and infauna. Two main questions are explored: 1) do the trout-invaded streams show a different community structure than the streams with autochthonous fish?, and 2) does the presence of trout affect differentially the epibenthos and the infauna? Epibenthic and infaunal samples, drift samples and fish stomach content were sampled four times from three stations to assess the impact of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) on the invertebrate aquatic fauna. Only one species of native fish was recorded in the studied sites, the siluriform Trichomycterus corduvense. Both fish species were found always in allopatry. The trout-invaded site has a different community structure than the other streams with a much lower abundance of large and active epibenthic taxa (e.g., Perlidae, Gripopterygidae, Hydropsychidae, Leptoceridae, Elmidae adults) and an increase in the importance of infaunal organisms (Chironomidae, Oligochaeta). Diversity indices showed alternating and opposite high and low values along time in trout-free and invaded sites.

Keywords : Benthos; Macroinvertebrates; Introduced species; Oncorhynchus mykiss; Trichomycterus corduvense.

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