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Nakajima R, Rimachi EV, Santos-Silva EN, Khen A, Yamane T, Mazeroll AI, Inuma JC, Utumi EY, Tanaka A. (2017) The abundance and biomass of mesozooplankton and ichthyoplankton in the confluence boundary of the Negro and the Amazon Rivers. PeerJ Preprints5:e2769v1https://doi.org/10.7287/peerj.preprints.2769v1
The boundary zone between two different hydrological regimes is often a biologically enriched environment with distinct planktonic communities. In the center of the Amazon River basin, muddy white water of the Amazon River meets with black water of the Negro River, creating a conspicuous visible boundary spanning over 10 km along the Amazon River. Here, we tested the hypothesis that the confluence boundary between the white and black water rivers concentrates prey and is used as a feeding habitat for juvenile fish by investigating the abundance, biomass and distribution of mesozooplankton and ichthyoplankton communities across the two rivers. Our results show that mesozooplankton abundance and biomass were higher in the black-water river compared to the white-water river; however an exceptionally high mesozooplankton abundance was not observed in the confluence boundary. Nonetheless we found the highest abundance of ichthyoplankton in the confluence boundary, being up to 9-fold higher than in adjacent rivers. The confluence boundary between black and white water rivers may function as a boundary layer that offers benefits of both high zooplankton prey concentrations (black-water) and low predation risk (white-water). This forms a plausible explanation for the high abundance of ichthyoplankton in the confluence zone of black and white water rivers.
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