Fish ecology of the alto madre de dios river basin (Peru): Notes on electrofishing surveys, elevation, palm swamp and headwater fishes

Ibon Tobes, Adrián Ramos-Merchante, Julio Araujo-Flores, Andrea Pino-Del-carpio, Hernán Ortega, Rafael Miranda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Our study analyzes the distribution of fish communities related to the environmental variables of the Alto Madre de Dios River, an Andean-Amazon watershed of southern Peru, between 300 and 2811 m a.s.l. within the Manu Biosphere Reserve. We provide new ecological and diversity data on fishes for these poorly studied rivers and new data for palm swamp habitats. With electric fishing techniques, we collected a total of 1934 fish specimens belonging to 78 species, 42 genera and 15 families. To assess main patterns of diversity we combined SIMPER and ANOSIM with canonical correspondence analysis to obtain an overview of the community structure of fish and their distribution related to aquatic habitats. Our results show an important shift on fish diversity at 700 m a.s.l. separating headwater and middle-lowland communities. Electrofishing was a hindrance due to the depth, flow and low conductivity of the rivers, but also allowed us to capture fish not observed with other techniques. We also compared the use of elevation with slope as an alternative variable for statistical analysis. Our results show that slope offers a solid and equivalent explanation for fish distribution variability, avoids redundance, and instead of giving geographical data offers ecologically solid information.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1038
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2 Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by Government of Spain, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, AECID (Code A1/040396/11) and Asociación de Amigos Universidad de Navarra.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Astroblepus
  • Manu biosphere reserve
  • Mauritia flexuosa
  • Trichomycterus
  • Tropical Andes


Dive into the research topics of 'Fish ecology of the alto madre de dios river basin (Peru): Notes on electrofishing surveys, elevation, palm swamp and headwater fishes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this