Longitudinal distribution of uncommon fishes in a species-rich basin

Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems
By:  and 



  1. The spatial organization of fishes in a river system was investigated to evaluate the longitudinal distribution of uncommon species. It was anticipated that overall richness of the fish community would increase in a downstream direction together with habitat extent, but that more uncommon species would occur upstream owing to greater heterogeneity among sites.
  2. Fish were collected between 1995 and 2014 at 85 sites distributed throughout the Duck River Basin, Tennessee, USA. A site usually consisted of four habitat types: riffles, runs, pools and shoreline. Each habitat type was sampled with a multipass electrofishing protocol.
  3. In all, 136 native fish species were collected. Of these, 71% were classified as uncommon but represented only 16% of the total count of fish collected. As expected, overall species richness increased downstream, but contrary to expectation, uncommon species did too. Some uncommon species were restricted exclusively to tributaries and headwaters, some to tributaries and mainstem, many to mainstem only, but the largest fraction of uncommon species occurred throughout the basin, but even this last group increased in richness downstream.
  4. Conservation often focuses on uncommon species. This study suggests that a greater number of uncommon species can be conserved with an emphasis on large downstream reaches, which not only include more aquatic habitat to support larger concentrations of fish, but also shelter the uncomm

Study Area

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Longitudinal distribution of uncommon fishes in a species-rich basin
Series title Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems
DOI 10.1002/aqc.3262
Volume 30
Issue 3
Year Published 2020
Language English
Publisher Wiley
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Atlanta
Description 9 p.
First page 577
Last page 585
Country United States
State Tennessee
Other Geospatial Duck River Basin
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