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Habitat use by an endangered riverine fish and implications for species protection

Ecology of Freshwater Fish

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Abstract

We investigated habitat specificity of the amber darter (Percina antesella Williams & Etnier 1977), an imperiled fish from restricted portions of 2 rivers in the southeastern United States. Foraging amber darters occupied a narrow range of riffle habitat, consistently avoiding areas < 20 cm deep and with velocity < 10 cm. s-1 near the substrate, occupying areas with cobble or gravel substrate and average water-column velocity of 30 to 70 cm. s-1. During low to moderate flows, approximately 20% or more of the study areas contained suitable habitat for the species. Amber darters appeared rare, and the numbers of individuals were uncorrelated with the concurrent availability of suitable habitat. Protecting the amber darter may require more than maintaining adequate depths and velocities over gravel-cobble substrates. Until we understand the potential importance of migration and dispersal for maintaining small populations, suitable habitat should be maintained over the longest contiguous stream segments possible.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Habitat use by an endangered riverine fish and implications for species protection
Series title:
Ecology of Freshwater Fish
Volume
3
Issue:
2
Year Published:
1994
Language:
English
Contributing office(s):
Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Description:
49-58
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Ecology of Freshwater Fish
First page:
177
Last page:
178
Number of Pages:
2