Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 9, Issue 3–4, pp 225–252 | Cite as

Fish assemblages in a river with unusual gradient (Luongo, Africa-Zaire system), reflections on river zonation, and description of another new species

  • Eugene K. Balon
  • Donald J. Stewart
Full Papers


Fish distribution in a river within the drainage system of Zaire headwaters and with an unusual gradient was studied. The Luongo River has high gradient upper and lower sections, separated by a long middle section of no gradients, and bordered by rapids and waterfalls. On the basis of Luongo's hydrographic history, topography and fish taxocenes the river is divided into saltatory zones, each zone inhabited by separate homeostatic fish communities. The problem of river natural zonation is argued. Luongo River is, furthermore, unique for its high richness (49 species), biogeographical correlations, and the number of undescribed species found (14%), of which one,Chetia mola, is described in this study. The probable reasons for the richness and for the discontinuous fish assemblages are discussed.


Community structures Speciation Chetia Cichlidae Fluvial system Floodplain River zones Luapula Kalungwishi Congo Live coloration Biogeography Zambia 


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Copyright information

© Dr W. Junk Publishers 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eugene K. Balon
    • 1
  • Donald J. Stewart
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyCollege of Biological Science, University of Guelph GuelphCanada
  2. 2.Department of ZoologyField Museum of Natural HistoryChicagoU.S.A.

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