The role of depth in regulating water quality and fish assemblages in oxbow lakes

Environmental Biology of Fishes
By: , and 



We evaluated water quality and fish assemblages in deep (> 3.0 m; N = 7) and shallow (< 1.5 m; N = 6) floodplain lakes in the intensively cultivated Yazoo River Basin (Mississippi, USA) using indirect gradient multivariate procedures. Shallow lakes displayed wide diel oxygen fluctuations, some reaching hypoxic/anoxic conditions for extended periods of time, high suspended solids, and extreme water temperatures. Conversely, deeper lakes were represented by higher visibility, stable oxygen levels, and cooler water temperatures. Fish assemblages in shallow lakes were dominated by tolerant, small-bodied fishes and those able to breathe atmospheric oxygen. Deeper lakes had a greater representation of predators and other large-bodied fishes. Our evaluation suggests fish assemblages are reflective of oxbow lakes water quality, which is shaped by depth. Understanding the interactions between depth, water quality, and fish assemblages may facilitate development of effective management plans for improving conditions necessary to sustain diverse fish assemblages in agriculturally dominated basins.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title The role of depth in regulating water quality and fish assemblages in oxbow lakes
Series title Environmental Biology of Fishes
DOI 10.1007/s10641-014-0330-z
Volume 98
Issue 3
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher Kluwer Academic Publishers
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Atlanta, Contaminant Biology Program
Description 9 p.
First page 951
Last page 959
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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