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THE METAZOAN PARASITES BIODIVERSITY OF DOMINANT FISH SPECIES FROM IBITINGA'S HYDROELECTRIC POWER STATION RESERVOIR AND ITS TWO MAIN AFFLUENTS, THE RIVERS: JACARÉ-PEPIRA AND JACARÁ-GUAÇU LOCATED IN THE STATE OF SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL.
Brazil is a privileged country as to water resources; having over 8,000,000 Km2 of territorial extension and around 12% of the world's freshwater. However, many anthropic activities in these freshwater ecosystems lead to a drastic reduction of the fish biodiversity. Targeting the economic development, large impoundments have been carried out in countless Brazilian watersheds in the last five decades. There are six reservoirs in the cascade system along the Middle and Lower Tietê River. One of them is the Ibitinga Reservoir, which is characterized by the predominance of pasture land and reforested areas, near extensive areas in which sugarcane and citrus fruits are cultivated. The Jacaré-Pepira and Jacaré-Guaçu Rivers, which have different environmental impacts and water quality, flow into this area of the Tietê River. Currently, the growing concern over global biodiversity has increased the amount of discussions related to this issue. Some authors defend the study of species of parasites as a key part of this biodiversity, and argue this is the group least studied regarding this specific matter. The composition of the parasite fauna of fish in these rivers depends on various factors, such as: habitat, seasons, water properties, type of river bed, depth, the fauna present near the habitat occupied by the fish, and, the fish biological and physiological characteristics. Parasites manifest environmental changes faster than their hosts and can be used as bioindicators of contamination with heavy metals. From this context perspective, the study aims to evaluate the biodiversity of the metazoan parasite of four fish species collected from Ibitinga's Hydroelectric Power Station Reservoir and its two main affluents, which present distinct limnological and physiographic conditions. (AU)
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