Composition, abundance and biomass of a fish assemblage in a southern Brazilian coastal stream during polyhaline/euhaline condition

Abstract: The coastal streams of southernmost Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul state, are marked by a period of regular marine intrusion resultant from intense oceanic winds. In the present study we aimed to investigate the species composition, abundance and relative biomass of the ichthyofauna in the lower stretch of a coastal stream during summer, a period of regular marine intrusion. Estreito is a coastal hydrological complex composed by lakes, swamps and a perennial stream, located at the central-south portion of the coastal plain of Rio Grande do Sul state. During the summer of 2018, the ichthyofauna of lower Estreito stream was sampled by beach hauls applied in 17 random points distributed in a stretch of ca. 2km. Measurements at the sampled stretch revealed salinities between 19.3 to 31.3 ppt, characterizing the studied system as polyhaline/euhaline during summer. The sample of 4,533 specimens revealed the occurrence of 20 species, being the great majority marine-dwelling. The most abundant species were the anablepid Jenynsia lineata (70.3%), the cichlid Geophagus brasiliensis (19.3%) and the the mugilid Mugil curema (7.5%). The highest relative biomass was recorded for J. lineata, followed by M. curema and G. brasiliensis. The dominance of marine-dwelling species in the assemblage composition and the high abundance of limnic-estuarine J. lineata corroborate previous studies conducted in other washouts of Rio Grande do Sul.