Research into the effects of shade on reservoir fish assemblages is lacking, with most investigations focused on streams. Unlike many streams, the canopy in a reservoir shades only a narrow fringe of water adjacent to the shoreline, and may not have the influential effect on the aquatic environment reported in streams. We compared fish assemblages between shaded and unshaded sites in a shallow reservoir. Overall species richness (gamma diversity) was higher in shaded sites, and fish assemblage composition differed between shaded and unshaded sites. Average light intensity was 66 % lower in shaded sites, and differences in average temperature and dissolved oxygen were small. Unlike streams where shade can have large effects on water physicochemistry, in reservoirs shade-related differences in fish assemblages seemed to be linked principally to differences in light intensity. Diversity in light intensity in shaded and unshaded sites in reservoirs can create various mosaics of light-based habitats that enable diversity of species assemblages. Managing to promote the habitat diversity provided by shade may require coping with the artificial nature of reservoir riparian zones and water level fluctuations.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Role of riparian shade on the fish assemblage of a reservoir littoral|
|Series title||Environmental Biology of Fishes|
|Contributing office(s)||Coop Res Unit Atlanta|