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Reservoirs can have both positive and negative effects on differing fish species depending on the species concerned and reservoir morphology, flow regime, and basin location. We assessed the influence of limnological zones on the ichthyofauna of three large Neotropical reservoirs in two different river basins. We sampled fish through use of gill nets set at 40 systematically selected sites on each reservoir. We used satellite images, algae, and suspended solids concentrations to classify those sites as lacustrine or riverine. We observed significant differences in assemblage composition between riverine and lacustrine zones of each reservoir. We either tested if the same region (lacustrine or riverine) showed the same patterns in different reservoirs. In São Simão, the riverine zone produced greater abundances of native species, long-distance migratory species, diversity, and richness, whereas the lacustrine zone supported greater total and non-native species abundances. Conversely, in Três Marias, the riverine zone supported greater total and non-native species abundances, whereas the others traits evaluated did not differ significantly between zones. Only lacustrine sites occurred in Volta Grande Reservoir. The same zones in the three reservoirs usually had significantly different patterns in the traits evaluated. The differences in spatial patterns observed between reservoirs could be explained partly by the differing morphologies (complex versus linear), the differential influence of tributaries of each reservoir and basin positions (presence or absence of upstream dams) of the reservoirs.
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