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Abundance-occupancy patterns in a riverine fish assemblage

October 6, 2019
  1. The interspecific relationships between abundance and site occupancy have been widely studied in plants and animals, but principally in terrestrial systems. With few exceptions, a positive abundance–occupancy relationship has been reported. Few publications have included freshwater fish, possibly suggesting a general lack of abundance–occupancy patterns for this taxonomic group.

  2. We examined the relationship between abundance and the extent of site occupancy by 145 species of freshwater fish, including nine non-indigenous species, sampled over 85 sites spread across the Duck River Basin, Tennessee, U.S.A.

  3. A distinct (r2 = 0.79) positive abundance–occupancy curve was observed, with curves differing relative to feeding and size guilds, but not relative to environmental tolerance, conservation status (i.e. listed/non-listed), or origin (i.e. indigenous/non-indigenous).

  4. The patterns observed are consistent with those reported in many studies of terrestrial taxa.

  5. The existence of positive abundance–occupancy relationships in stream fish has at least two major implications for fish conservation. First, species that decrease in occupancy due to anthropogenic disturbances are likely to decrease in abundance, facing inflated prospects for local extinction. Second, occupancy alone may be used to index community status and the need for, or success of, conservation activities.

Publication Year 2019
Title Abundance-occupancy patterns in a riverine fish assemblage
DOI 10.1111/fwb.13408
Authors Leandro E. Miranda, K. J. Kilgore
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Freshwater Biology
Index ID 70224541
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Coop Res Unit Atlanta