Channel-floodplain geomorphology and connectivity of the Lower Paraguay hydrosystem
The Paraguay River is the main tributary of the Paraná River hydrosystem. Despite several studies resulting from the proposed navigation project known as the Hidrovía Paraguay-Paraná, little is known about the physical structure of their aquatic environments and its biota. The main purpose of this work is the knowledge of the primary factors which form the structure of the physical habitats in this fluvial segment. In this way, the hydrological and hydraulic regime, channel shape, substrate, hydrological connectivity and the floodplain ontogeny and its evolution were analyzed. Synthesizing we stressed herein that the dynamics of the river-floodplain morphology dependent on the large-scale longitudinal and lateral hydrological connections, and the type and degree of these connections between lotic and lentic environments drive the changes of this seasonally inundated floodplain and its water bodies. In a second paper in this volume, is presented a classification of the Lower Paraguay physical habitats and their relationships with the main physical factors.