Abstract

Introduction: Hydroelectric dams have several impacts on migratory fish, such as decreasing their abundance, local extinctions, and changes in the assemblage structure. Objective: To investigate the trophic and reproductive strategies of Leporinus piau upstream and downstream from a hydroelectric dam in the Parnaíba River. Methods: We identified food items and calculated trophic niche breadth in both sites to characterize the feeding strategy. We conducted permutational multivariate analysis of variance (PERMANOVA) to determine differences in diet between sites, followed by a SIMPER analysis in order to show which items were the most dissimilar. To characterize the reproductive strategy, we analyzed weight/length relationship, body condition factor, gonadosomatic index, and size at first maturity. Results: Leporinus piau was classified as an omnivore with a predominantly plant-based diet at both sites. The diet and niche breadth varied between sites. The condition factor differed between sites while size at first maturity differed between sites and sexes. Conclusions: Leporinus piau variations upstream and downstream from a hydroelectric dam in the Parnaíba River are results of differences in life histories traits, as identified in the life history theory, which clarifies the differences on trophic and reproductive strategies.

Keywords: migratory species, niche, reservoir, threatened species, life history theory