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Fish movement and habitat use depends on water body size and shape

January 1, 2009

Home ranges are central to understanding habitat diversity, effects of fragmentation and conservation. The distance that an organism moves yields information on life history, genetics and interactions with other organisms. Present theory suggests that home range is set by body size of individuals. Here, we analyse estimates of home ranges in lakes and rivers to show that body size of fish and water body size and shape influence home range size. Using 71 studies including 66 fish species on five continents, we show that home range estimates increased with increasing water body size across water body shapes. This contrasts with past studies concluding that body size sets home range. We show that water body size was a consistently significant predictor of home range. In conjunction, body size and water body size can provide improved estimates of home range than just body size alone. As habitat patches are decreasing in size worldwide, our findings have implications for ecology, conservation and genetics of populations in fragmented ecosystems. ?? 2008 Blackwell Munksgaard.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2009
Title Fish movement and habitat use depends on water body size and shape
DOI 10.1111/j.1600-0633.2008.00326.x
Authors D.A. Woolnough, J.A. Downing, T.J. Newton
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Ecology of Freshwater Fish
Series Number
Index ID 70036097
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization