Do local environmental factors structure the trophic niche of the splash tetra, Copella arnoldi? A test in an Amazonian stream system

posted on 19.02.2020 by Bruno Eleres SOARES, Naraiana Loureiro BENONE, Daniela Cristina Oliveira ROSA, Luciano Fogaça de Assis MONTAG

ABSTRACT Environmental variation affects the availability of spatial and trophic resources in Amazonian streams and may be important factors structuring the diet of fishes. We analyzed the diet composition and trophic niche breadth of the lebiasinid splash tetra, Copella arnoldi, aiming to evaluate how environmental variation in Amazonian streams affects the species’ trophic niche. Fish were captured and environmental factors were recorded in 20 streams in the Caxiuanã National Forest, in the eastern Amazon, in November 2010. We made a semi-quantitative analysis of stomach contents of 200 individuals. Copella arnoldi exhibited an omnivorous diet composed mainly of detritus and allochthonous invertebrates. Environmental variation (stream width, stream depth, canopy cover and flow) did not affect the diet composition or trophic niche breadth of the species, possibly due to the regional integrity of the forest within the boundaries of the protected area. Riparian cover probably minimizes the effect of the small-scale variations in food resources, thus leading to a locally homogeneous diet composition in the splash tetra C. arnoldi.