Environmental Management

, Volume 10, Issue 6, pp 815–828 | Cite as

Correspondence between spatial patterns in fish assemblages in ohio streams and aquatic ecoregions

  • David P. Larsen
  • James M. Omernik
  • Robert M. Hughes
  • Christina M. Rohm
  • Thomas R. Whittier
  • Andrew J. Kinney
  • Alisa L. Gallant
  • Daniel R. Dudley


Land classification systems can be useful for assessing aquatic ecosystems if relationships among them exist. Because the character of an aquatic ecosystem depends to a large extent upon the character of the landscape it drains, spatial patterns in aquatic ecosystems should correspond to patterns in the landscape. To test this hypothesis, the US state of Ohio was divided into four aquatic ecoregions based on an analysis of spatial patterns in the combination of land-surface form, land use, potential natural vegetation, and soil parent material. During the period July–October 1983, fish assemblages were sampled in 46 streams that were representative of the ecoregions, and that had watersheds relatively undisturbed by human activities. Spatial patterns of the fish assemblages were examined relative to the ecoregions; distinct regional differences were identified. The assemblages differed most between the Huron/Erie Lake Plain region and the Western Allegheny Plateau region; assemblages in the Eastern Corn Belt Plains and the Erie/Ontario Lake Plain-Interior Plateau regions were intermediate. This pattern also reflects the gradient in landscape character as one moves from the northwest to the southeast of Ohio.

Key words

Ecological regions Ecoregions Fish assemblages Streams Ohio regional geography 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • David P. Larsen
    • 1
  • James M. Omernik
    • 1
  • Robert M. Hughes
    • 2
  • Christina M. Rohm
    • 2
  • Thomas R. Whittier
    • 2
  • Andrew J. Kinney
    • 2
  • Alisa L. Gallant
    • 2
  • Daniel R. Dudley
    • 3
  1. 1.Corvallis Environmental Research LaboratoryUS Environmental Protection AgencyCorvallisUSA
  2. 2.Northrop ServicesCorvallisUSA
  3. 3.Ohio Environmental Protection AgencyColumbusUSA

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