Oecologia

, Volume 140, Issue 4, pp 639–649 | Cite as

Geographic variation in patterns of nestedness among local stream fish assemblages in Virginia

  • Rosamonde R. Cook
  • Paul L. Angermeier
  • Debra S. Finn
  • N. LeRoy Poff
  • Kirk L. Krueger
Community Ecology

Abstract

Nestedness of faunal assemblages is a multi-scale phenomenon, potentially influenced by a variety of factors. Prior small-scale studies have found freshwater fish species assemblages to be nested along stream courses as a result of either selective colonization or extinction. However, within-stream gradients in temperature and other factors are correlated with the distributions of many fish species and may also contribute to nestedness. At a regional level, strongly nested patterns would require a consistent set of structuring mechanisms across streams, and correlation among species’ tolerances of the environmental factors that influence distribution. Thus, nestedness should be negatively associated with the spatial extent of the region analyzed and positively associated with elevational gradients (a correlate of temperature and other environmental factors). We examined these relationships for the freshwater fishes of Virginia. Regions were defined within a spatial hierarchy and included whole river drainages, portions of drainages within physiographic provinces, and smaller subdrainages. In most cases, nestedness was significantly stronger in regions of smaller spatial extent and in regions characterized by greater topographic relief. Analysis of hydrologic variability and patterns of faunal turnover provided no evidence that inter-annual colonization/extinction dynamics contributed to elevational differences in nestedness. These results suggest that, at regional scales, nestedness is influenced by interactions between biotic and abiotic factors, and that the strongest nestedness is likely to occur where a small number of organizational processes predominate, i.e., over small spatial extents and regions exhibiting strong environmental gradients.

Keywords

Stream fish Nested subsets Nestedness Species assemblages Spatial scale 

References

  1. Angermeier PL, Schlosser IJ (1989) Species-area relationships for stream fishes. Ecology 70:1450–1462Google Scholar
  2. Angermeier PL, Winston MR (1998) Local vs. regional influences of local diversity in stream fish communities of Virginia. Ecology 79:911–927Google Scholar
  3. Angermeier PL, Winston MR (1999) Characterizing fish community diversity across Virginia landscapes: prerequisite for conservation. Ecol Appl 9:335–349Google Scholar
  4. Bolger DT, Alberts AC, Soulé ME (1991) Occurrence patterns of bird species in habitat fragments: sampling, extinctions, and nested species subsets. Am Nat 137:155–166CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Burton GW, Odum EP (1945) The distribution of stream fish in the vicinity of Mountain Lake, Virginia. Ecology 26:182–194Google Scholar
  6. Butaye J, Jacquemyn H, Hermy M (2001) Differential colonization causing non-random forest plant community structure in a fragmented agricultural landscape. Ecography 24:369–380CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Calmé S, Desrochers A (1999) Nested bird and micro-habitat assemblages in a peatland archipelago. Oecologia 118:361–370CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Conover WJ (1980) Practical nonparametric statistics, 2nd edn. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  9. Cook RR (1995) The relationship between nested subsets, habitat subdivision, and species diversity. Oecologia 101:204–210Google Scholar
  10. Cook RR, Quinn JF (1995) The influence of colonization in nested species subsets. Oecologia 102:413–424Google Scholar
  11. Frissell CA, Liss WA, Warren CE, Hurley MD (1986) A hierarchical framework for stream habitat classification: viewing streams in a watershed context. Environ Manage 10:199–214Google Scholar
  12. Gaston K (2000) Global patterns in biodiversity. Nature 405:220–227CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Herlihly AT, Stoddard JL, Johnson CB (1998) The relationship between stream chemistry and watershed land cover data in the mid-Atlantic region, US. Water Air Soil Pollut 105:377–386CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hocutt CH, Wiley EO (1986) The zoogeography of North American freshwater fishes. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  15. Horwitz RJ (1978) Temporal variability patterns and the distributional patterns of stream fishes. Ecol Monogr 48:307–321Google Scholar
  16. Hubbell SP (2001) The unified theory of biodiversity and biogeography. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  17. Hynes HBN (1970) The ecology of running waters. University of Toronto Press, TorontoGoogle Scholar
  18. Imhoff JG, Fitzgibbon J, Annable WK (1996) A hierarchical evaluation system for characterizing watershed ecosystems for fish habitat. Can J Fish Aquat Sci 53:312–326CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Jenkins RE, Burkhead NM (1994) Freshwater fishes of Virginia. American Fisheries Society, BethesdaGoogle Scholar
  20. Kadmon R (1995) Nested species subsets and geographic isolation: a case study. Ecology 76:458–465Google Scholar
  21. Kodric-Brown A, Brown JH (1993) Highly structured fish communities in Australian desert springs. Ecology 74:1847–1855Google Scholar
  22. Matthews WJ (1998) Patterns in freshwater fish ecology. Chapman and Hall, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  23. Menge BA, Olson AM (1990) Role of scale and environmental factors in regulation of community structure. Trends Ecol Evol 5:46–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Patterson BD (1987) The principle of nested subsets and its implications for biological conservation. Conserv Biol 1:247–293Google Scholar
  25. Patterson BD, Atmar W (1986) Nested subsets and the structure of insular mammalian faunas and archipelagos. Biol J Linn Soc 28:65–82Google Scholar
  26. Patterson BD, Brown JH (1991) Regionally nested patterns of species composition in grainivorous rodent assemblages. Biogeography 18:395–402Google Scholar
  27. Poff NL (1997) Landscape filters and species traits: towards mechanistic understanding and prediction in stream ecology. J North Am Benthol Soc 16:391–409Google Scholar
  28. Quinn JF, Hastings A (1987) Extinction in subdivided habitats. Conserv Biol 1:198–208Google Scholar
  29. Rahel FJ, Hubert WA (1991) Fish assemblages and habitat gradients in a Rocky Mountain—Great Plains stream: biotic zonation and additive patterns of community change. Trans Am Fish Soc 120:319–332CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Ricklefs RE, Schluter D (1993) Species diversity: regional and historic influences. In: Ricklefs RE, Schluter D (eds) Species diversity in ecological communities: historical and geographic perspectives. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp 350–363Google Scholar
  31. Schlosser IJ (1987) A conceptual framework for fish communities in small warmwater streams. In: Matthews WJ, Heins DC (eds) Community and evolutionary ecology of North American stream fishes. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, Oklahoma, pp 17–28Google Scholar
  32. Schlosser IJ (1991) Stream fish ecology: a landscape perspective. BioScience 41:704–712Google Scholar
  33. Sheldon AL (1968) Species diversity and longitudinal succession in stream fishes. Ecology 49:193–198Google Scholar
  34. Strahler AN (1952) Hypsometric (area-altitude) analysis of erosional topography. Bull Geol Soc Am 63:1117–1142Google Scholar
  35. Swanson FJ, Krantz TK, Caine N, Woodmansee RG (1988) Landform effects on ecosystem processes and regional patterns. Freshw Biol 36:92–98Google Scholar
  36. Taylor CM (1997) Fish species richness and incidence patterns in isolated and connected stream pools: effects of pool volume and spatial position. Oecologia 110:560–566CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Taylor CM, Warren ML Jr (2001) Dynamics in species composition of stream fish assemblages: environmental variability and nested subsets. Ecology 82:2320–2330Google Scholar
  38. United States Environmental Protection Agency (1998) USEPA Office of Water, River Reach File 3 (RF3) Alpha for CONUS, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. Edition 3 alphaGoogle Scholar
  39. United States Geological Survey (1980) Hydrologic Unit Map—1974; State of Virginia. US Geological Survey, RestonGoogle Scholar
  40. Vannote RL, Minshall GW, Cummins KW, Sedell JR, Cushing CE (1980) The river continuum concept. Can J Fish Aquat Sci 37:130–137Google Scholar
  41. Wiens JA, Addicott JF, Case TJ, Diamond J (1986) Overview: the importance of spatial and temporal scale in ecological investigations. In: Diamond J, Case TJ (eds) Community ecology. Harper and Row, New York, pp 145–153Google Scholar
  42. Worthen WB, Carswell ML, Kelly KA (1996) Nested subset structure of larval mycophagous fly assemblages: nestedness in a non-island system. Oecologia 107:257–264Google Scholar
  43. Wright DH, Reeves J (1992) On the meaning and measurement of nestedness of species assemblages. Oecologia 92:416–428Google Scholar
  44. Wright DH, Patterson BD, Mikkelson GM, Cutler A, Atmar W (1998) A comparative analysis of nested subset patterns of species composition. Oecologia 113:1–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rosamonde R. Cook
    • 1
    • 2
  • Paul L. Angermeier
    • 3
  • Debra S. Finn
    • 4
  • N. LeRoy Poff
    • 4
  • Kirk L. Krueger
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Fisheries and Wildlife BiologyColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA
  2. 2.US National Park ServiceSequoia and Kings Canyon National ParksThree RiversUSA
  3. 3.US Geological Survey, Virginia Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research UnitVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityBlacksburgUSA
  4. 4.Department of BiologyColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA
  5. 5.Department of Fisheries and Wildlife SciencesVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityBlacksburgUSA

Personalised recommendations