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Ecology of North American Freshwater Fishes

Ecology of North American Freshwater Fishes

Stephen T. Ross
Copyright Date: 2013
Edition: 1
Pages: 480
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  • Book Info
    Ecology of North American Freshwater Fishes
    Book Description:

    The North American freshwater fish fauna is the most diverse and thoroughly researched temperate fish fauna in the world.Ecology of North American Freshwater Fishesis the only textbook to provide advanced undergraduate and graduate students and researchers with an up-to-date and integrated view of the ecological and evolutionary concepts, principles, and processes involved in the formation and maintenance of this fauna.Ecology of North American Freshwater Fishesprovides readers with a broad understanding of why specific species and assemblages occur in particular places. Additionally, the text explores how individuals and species interact with each other and with their environments, how such interactions have been altered by anthropogenic impacts, and the relative success of efforts to restore damaged ecosystems. This book is designed for use in courses related to aquatic and fish ecology, fish biology, ichthyology, and related advanced ecology and conservation courses, and is divided into five sections for ease of use. Chapter summaries, supplemental reading lists, online sources, extensive figures, and color photography are included to guide readers through the material and facilitate student learning. Part 1: Faunal origins, evolution, and diversity Presents a broad picture-both spatially and temporally-of the derivation of the fauna, including global and regional geological and climatological processes and their effects on North American fishes. Part 2: Formation, maintenance, and persistence of local populations and assemblages Focuses on how local fish populations and assemblages are formed and how they persist, or not, through time. Part 3: Form and function Deals with the relationship of body form and life history patterns as they are related to ecological functions. Part 4: Interactions among individuals and species Discusses the numerous interactions among individuals and species through communication, competition, predation, mutualism, and facilitation. Part 5: Issues in conservation Focuses on several primary conservation issues such as flow alterations and the increasing biotic homogenization of faunas.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-95519-6
    Subjects: Zoology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Part I Faunal Origins, Evolution, and Diversity

    • ONE Introduction
      (pp. 3-10)

      Understanding fish ecology is both exciting and challenging. Fishes have the greatest diversity among the craniate organisms, composing more than half of all extant species, with an estimated 27,977 species of fishes worldwide (Nelson 2006), and with the descriptions of “new” (newly documented) species continuing at approximately 200 species per year (Eschmeyer 1998). As further emphasis of fish diversity, unlike other recognized groups within the phylum Chordata (amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals), organisms commonly referred to as fishes comprise five living classes (hagfishes, Myxini; lampreys, Petromyzontidae; sharks and rays, Chondrichthyes; ray-finned fishes, Actinopterygii; and lobe-finned fishes, Sarcopterygii). Three of these...

    • TWO Origin and Derivation of the North American Freshwater Fish Fauna
      (pp. 11-28)

      Studies of fish distribution and ecology are often initiated by making a series of collections in various aquatic habitats. In doing so, there is a tendency to consider fishes taken in each particular mesohabitat, such as a pond, lake shore, or stream riffle, to be part of a natural assemblage developed as a unit over evolutionary and ecological time through the interaction of local processes. However, even discounting the recent major role of humans in introducing fishes outside of their natural ranges, this assumption that species in the assemblage share a long history of coexistence may not be valid. As...

      (pp. 29-44)

      Fish assemblages and populations are continually challenged by changes in their local and regional environments. These changes could be relatively minor, such as local shifts in stream habitats caused by alterations in pools or riffle structure, or changes in access to habitats caused by shifts in the distribution of large piscivores. More extreme changes might include annual shifts in water level and/or flow rates caused by variation in precipitation. On an even larger scale, changes could reflect longterm climatic shifts, such as the onset of the Pleistocene Ice Ages, or major tectonic events, such as the uplift of the Colorado...

  6. Part II Formation, Maintenance, and Persistence of Local Populations and Assemblages

    • FOUR Responses of Populations and Assemblages to Biotic and Physical Factors
      (pp. 47-70)

      Fishes are confronted by an environment that is complex and heterogeneous, with components of their habitat changing on multiple temporal and spatial scales. For instance, water temperature or turbidity might change on an hourly or daily frequency, altering the suitability of certain habitats; in contrast, substrata might change over a longer time period of days, months, years, or decades, and basic structures, such as shoreline characteristics in lakes or riffle–pool sequences in streams, might vary on a scale of many months to tens or hundreds of years.

      Various approaches have been used to describe the dynamics of local habitats,...

    • FIVE The Formation and Maintenance of Populations and Assemblages
      (pp. 71-90)

      Ecologists studying fish populations and assemblages most often are dealing with their subjects already formed, at least in the sense of ecological time. In Part 1, the examples of the colonization of new habitats that were opened up following glacial retreat showed how species might be added to such systems. Obviously, opportunities to study natural assemblages in the early stages of their formation are rare. However, opportunities do occur when assemblages repopulate after being eliminated due to loss of habitat during droughts or because of intense flooding that can cause local or regional extirpation of fishes. This chapter deals with...

    • SIX Persistence of Fish Assemblages in Space and Time
      (pp. 91-116)

      The first two chapters in Part 2 examined how fish species and assemblages are affected by broadscale landscape features, how various models relate assemblages to the environmental variables, how fish assemblages are formed, and the role that movement plays over different life-history stages in allowing fishes to access new habitats and to move among habitats so that their fitness is maximized. This chapter focuses primarily on the temporal and spatial dynamics of fish assemblages, or how fish populations and assemblages cope with relatively short-term physical and biotic challenges.

      Understanding the type, frequency, and magnitude of variability in fish assemblages is...

  7. Part III Form and Function

    • SEVEN Morphology and Functional Ecology of the Fins and Axial Skeleton
      (pp. 119-142)

      Vertebrate evolution began in an aquatic environment in the early Paleozoic (500+ mya), followed by the evolution of tetrapods and then the evolution of terrestriality in the middle Devonian (390 mya) (Clack 2002; Nelson 2006). The aquatic and terrestrial environments occupied by vertebrate organisms offer their own sets of challenges and opportunities. For instance, unlike air, water is incompressible for all practical purposes and has much greater viscosity (the resistance of a fluid to deformation because of internal friction). Viscosity becomes increasingly significant as body size decreases and so is an especially important issue for larval stages of fishes (Webb...

    • EIGHT Form and Function in the Feeding of Fishes
      (pp. 143-166)

      The previous chapter focused on the overall body shape of fishes, functional aspects of swimming or position holding, and the ways in which body form and function are related to habitat. This chapter looks at some basic elements of the head skeleton of North American freshwater fishes and how bone and muscle shapes and positions relate to modes of feeding. Ray-finned fishes, the Actinopterygii (see Figure 7.5), display tremendous diversity in structural and behavioral aspects of prey capture—a not surprising finding given the great diversity of the group. In fact, diversity of trophic morphology (i.e., teeth, jaws, suspensorium, etc.)...

    • NINE Life History and Reproductive Ecology
      (pp. 167-202)

      The previous two chapters in this unit dealt with body form and function and included information on evolutionary trends in locomotion, effects of natural selection on body shape, basic jaw structure and function, and morphological specializations associated with prey capture. This chapter continues the study of form and function in relation to reproduction and the role of natural selection in shaping life-history patterns. In fact, evolution of body size and shape of fishes can often be best understood in terms of the selective pressures of life histories.

      Fishes demonstrate a fascinating array of reproductive modes and life-history patterns and perhaps...

  8. Part IV Interactions among Individuals and Species

    • TEN Communication among Individuals
      (pp. 205-226)

      An integral part of the biology of fishes is their ability to communicate, both among individuals of the same population or species, as well as among different species. In fact, communication is a critical aspect, both in terms of helping to maintain reproductive isolation between species, and also to facilitate interactions among and between species. Communication, by definition, refers to the interaction between two or more individuals. Technically, communication is a phenomenon of one organism producing a signal that, when responded to by another organism or organisms, confers some advantage to the signaler or to its group. The signal can...

    • ELEVEN Interactions in Resource Acquisition I: NICHES, COMPETITION, AND TROPHIC POSITION
      (pp. 227-254)

      The occurrence and persistence of individuals and populations depend on acquiring the spatial or trophic resources, all related to energy acquisition, required by each life-history stage. Potential impacts of changes in resource availability were covered in Part 2, and the functional morphological adaptations involved in obtaining food or using particular habitats were covered in Part 3. This chapter focuses on possible interactions involved in obtaining trophic or spatial resources, resource linkages in fish assemblages (i.e., food chains and food webs), and trophic positions. The rate of evolution of morphological structures and behaviors associated with feeding is in part influenced by...

      (pp. 255-288)

      How energy is allocated among individuals and species, and thus how assemblages and communities are shaped, is affected by competitive interactions (Chapter 11) and by predator-prey interactions (this chapter). Predator-prey interactions impact communities by altering competitive balances, affecting foraging behaviors and habitat use, and changing community structure through top-down effects (Kitching 1986). Unlike the negatively symmetric relationship of competition, predation is an asymmetric relationship (+, -), where one member of the interacting pair benefits and the other is negatively affected (see Part Table. 4.1). In the broad sense, predation includes herbivory, carnivory, parasitism, and cannibalism—essentially all are situations where...

      (pp. 289-306)

      The previous chapters in Part 4 mainly focused on symmetrical negative interactions like competition or asymmetrical positive/negative interactions such as predation. Indeed, such fully or partially negative interactions have dominated ecological research since Darwin. Much of the earlier literature on competitive interactions, in fact, focused on how different species avoided or reduced spatiotemporal overlap (for instance the concept of resource partitioning). However, interactions that are symmetrically positive or asymmetrically positive and neutral are being increasingly recognized as important in the formation and maintenance of communities (Bruno et al. 2003). This leads to a potential cost-benefit situation of avoiding other species...

  9. Part V Issues in Conservation

    • [Part Five Introduction]
      (pp. 307-310)

      The four previous parts of this book have covered geological and climatic events shaping the North American freshwater fish fauna, how fish assemblages are formed and maintained, the functional morphology and life-history characteristics of fishes, and ways in which fish populations and species interact. This part integrates many of the previous topics by focusing on several areas of how fishes interact with their environments, how human-caused impacts have altered these environments and the responses of fishes, and how the relatively new field of conservation biology has contributed to the restoration of habitats and native fish populations. I have selected only...

    • FOURTEEN Streams Large and Small
      (pp. 311-340)

      Streams and rivers constitute a major feature of the North American landscape—indeed, much of North American topography has been shaped by the impacts of flowing water on the erosion and deposition of materials (Leopold et al. 1964; Leopold 1994; Mount 1995). North American streams and rivers collectively discharge approximately 8,200 km³ (580 billion gallons) each year, which is about 17% of the world’s total. Although there is a general relationship between the area of the watershed and the annual mean discharge (Leopold 1994), rivers in arid lands have discharges much lower than would be predicted by watershed area, whereas...

    • FIFTEEN Ponds, Lakes, and Impoundments
      (pp. 341-368)

      In contrast to streams in the Northern Hemisphere, lakes are generally recent geological phenomena being primarily post-Pleistocene (approximately 10,000 years old or less). Lakes can be categorized by their nature of origin. For instance, the eminent limnologist G. Evelyn Hutchinson (1957b) divided lake origins into 10 main categories with numerous subcategories, and another eminent limnologist, Robert Wetzel (2001), considered nine main groups as follows. Lake origins are typically catastrophic, such as being formed as a result of tectonic activity (faulting), volcanic activity, landslides, glacial activity, dissolving soluble rock, river activity, wind action, shoreline activity, and damming by the buildup of...

    (pp. 369-372)
    (pp. 373-436)
  12. INDEX
    (pp. 437-460)