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Longitudinal differences in habitat complexity and fish assemblage structure of a great plains river

American Midland Naturalist

By:
and
DOI: 10.1674/0003-0031-163.1.14

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Abstract

We investigated the spatial variation in the Kansas River (USA) fish assemblage to determine how fish community structure changes with habitat complexity in a large river. Fishes were collected at ten sites throughout the Kansas River for assessing assemblage structure in summer 2007. Aerial imagery indicated riparian land use within 200 m from the river edge was dominated by agriculture in the upper river reaches (>35) and tended to increase in urban land use in the lower reaches (>58). Instream habitat complexity (number of braided channels, islands) also decreased with increased urban area (<25). Canonical correspondence analysis indicated that species that prefer high-velocity flows and sandy substrate (e.g., blue sucker Cycleptus elongatus and shovelnose sturgeon Scaphirhynchus platorynchus) were associated with the upper river reaches. Abundance of omnivorous and planktivorous fish species were also higher in the lower river. The presence of fluvial dependent and fluvial specialist species was associated with sites with higher water flows, more sand bars, and log jams. Our results suggest that conserving intolerant, native species in the Kansas River may require maintaining suitable habitat for these species and restoration of impacted areas of the river.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Longitudinal differences in habitat complexity and fish assemblage structure of a great plains river
Series title:
American Midland Naturalist
DOI:
10.1674/0003-0031-163.1.14
Volume
163
Issue:
1
Year Published:
2010
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
American Midland Naturalist
First page:
14
Last page:
32
Number of Pages:
19