Environmental Management

, Volume 14, Issue 5, pp 661–671 | Cite as

Assemblage stability in stream fishes: A review

  • Gary D. Grossman
  • John F. Dowd
  • Maurice Crawford
Section 3: The Problem Of Spatial-Temporal Variability

Abstract

We quantified the stability of nine stream fish assemblages by calculating coefficients of variation of population size for assemblage members. Coefficients of variation were high and averaged over 96%; indicating that most assemblages were quite variable. Coefficient of variation (CV) estimates were not significantly affected by: (1) years of study, (2) mean abundance, (3) familial classification, or (4) mean interval between collections. We also detected minor regional differences in CVs. The high variability exhibited by many stream fish assemblages suggests that it may be difficult to detect the effects of anthropogenic disturbances using population data alone. Consequently, we urge managers to exercise caution in the evaluation of the effects of these disturbances. More long-term studies of the ecological characteristics of undisturbed stream fish assemblages are needed to provide a benchmark against which disturbed systems can be compared.

We suggest that CVs are a better estimator of population/assemblage stability, than either Kendall's W or the standard deviation of the logarithms of numerical censuses. This conclusion is based on the following reasons. First, CVs scale population variation by the mean and, hence, more accurately measure population variability. Second, this scaling permits the comparison of populations with different mean abundances. Finally, the interpretation of CV values is less ambiguous than either of the aforementioned metrics.

Key words

Community Structure Assemblage structure Assemblage stability Community stability Population variability Stream fishes 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Literature Cited

  1. Cairns, J., Jr. 1990. Theoretical basis for predicting rate and pathways of recovery.Environmental Management 14:517–526.Google Scholar
  2. Connell, J. H., and W. P. Sousa. 1983. On the evidence needed to judge ecological stability or persistence.American Naturalist 121:789–824.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Davis, N., and G. R. van Blaricom. 1978. Spatial and temporal heterogeneity in a sand bottom epifaunal community of invertebrates in shallow water.Limnology and Oceanography 23:417–427.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. DeAngelis, D. L., and J. C. Waterhouse. 1987. Equilibrium and nonequilibrium concepts in ecological models.Ecological Monographs 57:1–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Erman, D. C. 1973. Upstream changes in fish populations following impoundment of Sagehen Creek, California.Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 102:626–629.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Erman, D. C. 1986. Long-term structure of fish populations in Sagehen Creek, California.Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 115:682–692.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Fausch, K. D., J. R. Karr, and P. R. Yant. 1984. Regional application of an index of biotic integrity based on stream fish communities.Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 113:39–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Frank, P. 1968. Life histories and community stability.Ecology 49:355–357.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Freeman, M. C., M. K. Crawford, J. C. Barrett, D. E. Facey, M. G. Flood, J. Hill, D. J. Stouder, and G. D. Grossman. 1988. Fish assemblage stability in a Southern Appalachian stream.Canadian Journal of Fisheries Aquatic Sciences 45:1949–1958.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gard, R., and G. A. Flittner. 1974. Distribution and abundance of fishes in Sagehen Creek, California.Journal of Wildlife Management 38:347–358.Google Scholar
  11. Grossman, G. D. 1982. Dynamics and organization of a rocky intertidal fish assemblage: the persistence and resilience of taxocene structure.American Naturalist 119:611–637.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Grossman, G. D., P. B. Moyle, and J. O. Whitaker, Jr. 1982. Stochasticity in structural and functional characteristics of an Indiana stream fish assemblage: a test of community theory.American Naturalist 120:423–453.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Grossman, G. D., P. B. Moyle, and J. O. Whitaker, Jr. 1985. Stochasticity in structural and assemblage organization in an Indiana stream fish assemblage.American Naturalist 126:275–285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Harrell, H. L. 1978. Responses of the Devil's River (Texas) fish community to flooding.Copeia 1978:60–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Harrell, R. C., B. J. Davis, and T. C. Dorris. 1967. Stream order and species diversity of fishes in an intermittent stream.American Midland Naturalist 78:428–436.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Herbold, B. 1984. Structure of an Indiana stream fish association: choosing an appropriate model.American Naturalist 124:561–572.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hughes, R. M. 1990. Use of ecoregions to develop biological criteria for assessing recovery of aquatic ecosystems.Environmental Management.Google Scholar
  18. Inman, E. 1971. Flow characteristic of Georgia streams. United States Geologic Survey Open File Report, Atlanta, Georgia. 262 pp.Google Scholar
  19. John, K. R. 1964. Survival of fish in intermittent streams of the Chiricahua Mountains, Arizona.Ecology 45:112–119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kelly, J. R., and M. A. Harwell. 1990. Indicators of ecosystem recovery.Environmental Management 14:527–546.Google Scholar
  21. Larimore, R. W. 1954. Minnow productivity in a small Illinois stream.Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 84:110–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Larimore, R. W., W. F. Childers, and C. Heckrotte. 1959. Destruction and reestablishment of stream fish and invertebrates affected by drought.Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 88:261–285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Lowe, C. H., D. S. Hinds, and E. A. Halpern. 1967. Experimental catastrophic selection and tolerances to low oxygen concentration in native Arizona freshwater fishes.Ecology 48:1013–1017.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. MacArthur, R. 1972. Geographical ecology. Harper and Row, New York. 269 pp.Google Scholar
  25. Matthews, W. J. 1986. Fish faunal structure in an Ozark stream: stability persistence and a catastrophic flood.Copeia 1986:388–397.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Matthews, W. J., R. C. Cashner, and F. P. Gelwick. 1988. Stability and persistence of fish faunas and assemblages in three mid-western streams.Copeia 1988:947–957.Google Scholar
  27. Meffe, G. K., and W. L. Minckley. 1987. Persistence and stability of fish and invertebrate assemblages in a repeatedly disturbed Sonoran desert stream.American Midland Naturalist 117:177–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Meefe, G. K., and T. M. Berra. 1988. Temporal characteristics of fish assemblage structure in an Ohio stream.Copeia 1988:684–690.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Metcalf, A. L. 1959. Fishes of Chautauqua, Cowley and Elk counties, Kansas.University of Kansas Publications, Museum of Natural History 11:345–400.Google Scholar
  30. Mills, C. A., and R. H. Mann. 1985. Environmentally-induced fluctuations in year-class strength and their implications for management.Journal of Fish Biology 27(suppl A):209–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Moyle, P. B., and H. W. Li. 1979. Community ecology and predator-prey relations in warm water streams. Pages 171–180in H. Clepper; (ed.), Predator-prey systems in fisheries management. Sport Fishing Institute, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  32. Moyle, P. B., and B. Vondracek. 1985. Persistence and structure of the fish assemblage in a small California stream.Ecology 66:1–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Paloumupis, A. A. 1958. Responses of some minnows to flood and drought conditions in an intermittent stream.Iowa State Journal of Science 32:547–561.Google Scholar
  34. Rahel, F. J., J. D. Lyons, and P. A. Cochran. 1984. Stochastic or deterministic regulation of assemblage structure? It may depend on how the assemblage is defined.American Naturalist 124:583–589.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Resh, V. H., A. V. Brown, A. P. Covich, M. E. Gurtz, H. W. Li, G. W. Minshall, S. R. Reice, A. L. Sheldon, J. B. Wallace, and R. Wissmar. 1988. The role of disturbance in stream ecology.Journal of the North American Benthological Society 7:433–455.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Rinne, J. N. 1975. Changes in minnow populations in a small desert stream resulting from naturally and artificially induced factors.Southwestern Naturalist 20:185–198.Google Scholar
  37. Ross, S. T., W. J. Matthews, and A. A. Echelle. 1985. Persistence of stream fish assemblages: effects of environmental change.American Naturalist 126:24–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Ross, S. T., J. A. Baker, and K. E. Clark. 1987. Microhabitat partitioning of Southeastern stream fishes: temporal and spatial predictability. Pages 42–51in W. J. Matthews and D. C. Heins (eds.), Community and evolutionary ecology of North American Stream fishes. University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma. 310 pp.Google Scholar
  39. Schlosser, I. J. 1985. Flow regime, juvenile abundance, and the assemblage structure of stream fishes.Ecology 66:1484–1490.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Searcy, J. K. 1959. Flow duration curves. United States Geologic Survey Water Supply Paper 1542-A.Google Scholar
  41. Sedell, J., R. Hauer, C. P. Hawkins, and J. Stamford. 1990. The role of refugia in recovery from disturbance: modern fragmented and disconnected river systems.Environmental Management 14:711–724.Google Scholar
  42. Starrett, W. C. 1951. Some factors affecting the abundance of minnows in the Des Moines River, Iowa.Ecology 32:13–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Vaughan, D. S., and W. Van Winkle. 1982. Corrected analysis of the ability to detect reductions in year-class strength of the Hudson River white perch (Morone americana) population.Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 39:782–785.Google Scholar
  44. Warner, R. R., and P. L. Chesson. 1985. Coexistence mediated by recruitment fluctuation a field guide to the storage effect.American Naturalist 125:769–787.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Yant, P. R., J. A. Karr, and P. L. Angermeier. 1984. Stochasticity in stream fish communities: an alternative explanation.American Naturalist 124:573–582.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Yount, J. D., and G. J. Niemi. 1990. Recovery of lotic communities and ecosystems from disturbance—a narrative review of case studies.Environmental Management 14:547–570.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gary D. Grossman
    • 1
  • John F. Dowd
    • 1
  • Maurice Crawford
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Forest ResourcesUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA

Personalised recommendations