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Fish community structure in natural and engineered habitats in the Kansas River

September 1, 2010

We investigated fish assemblage structure in engineered (rip‐rap) and natural habitats (log jams and mud banks) in the Kansas River USA to determine if natural structures had higher abundance and diversity of fishes at a local spatial scale. A total of 439 randomly selected sites were boat electrofished from May to August 2005 and 2006. Mean species diversity and richness were significantly higher in rip‐rap than log jams and mud banks. Mean relative abundance (CPUE; number of fish collected per hour electrofishing) of six of the 15 most common fishes (>1% of total catch) were most abundant in rip‐rap, two were most abundant in log jams, and none in mud banks. Rip‐rap had the highest relative abundance of fluvial specialist and macrohabitat generalists, whereas mean CPUE of fluvial dependents was highest in log jams. Although a discriminant function analysis indicated that nine size classes (eight species) discriminated among three habitat types, the high misclassification rate (38%) suggested a high degree of fish assemblage overlap among the habitats. Although previous work has suggested that engineered structures (rip‐rap) and urbanization are linked to reduced biotic diversity or reduced growth of fish species, our results suggest that at a local scale rip‐rap may not have the same negative impacts on fish assemblages.

Publication Year 2010
Title Fish community structure in natural and engineered habitats in the Kansas River
DOI 10.1002/rra.1287
Authors K. White, J. Gerken, Craig P. Paukert, Andrew S. Makinster
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title River Research and Applications
Index ID 70150456
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Coop Res Unit Atlanta