Understanding factors related to the occurrence of species across multiple spatial and temporal scales is critical to the conservation and management of native fishes, especially for those species at the edge of their natural distribution. We used the concept of hierarchical faunal filters to provide a framework for investigating the influence of habitat characteristics and normative piscivores on the occurrence of 10 native fishes in streams of the North Platte River watershed in Wyoming. Three faunal filters were developed for each species: (i) large-scale biogeographic, (ii) local abiotic, and (iii) biotic. The large-scale biogeographic filter, composed of elevation and stream-size thresholds, was used to determine the boundaries within which each species might be expected to occur. Then, a local abiotic filter (i.e., habitat associations), developed using binary logistic-regression analysis, estimated the probability of occurrence of each species from features such as maximum depth, substrate composition, submergent aquatic vegetation, woody debris, and channel morphology (e.g., amount of pool habitat). Lastly, a biotic faunal filter was developed using binary logistic regression to estimate the probability of occurrence of each species relative to the abundance of nonnative piscivores in a reach. Conceptualising fish assemblages within a framework of hierarchical faunal filters is simple and logical, helps direct conservation and management activities, and provides important information on the ecology of fishes in the western Great Plains of North America. ?? Blackwell Munksgaard, 2004.
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Hierarchical faunal filters: An approach to assessing effects of habitat and nonnative species on native fishes