Skip to main content

Comparative habitat use by grazing fishes in a Bornean stream

Abstract

Habitat use by four grazing fishes in a rainforest stream was determined by direct observation (snorkeling) and microhabitat measurements for individual fish. Significant species heterogeneity (P < 0.004) occurred along two principal component gradients of velocity, depth and substrate and most pairwise species contrasts were significant. Abundant Paracrossochilus acerus (Cyprinidae) occupied the slower, deeper end of the gradient and Gastromyzon punctulatus (Balitoridae) the fast, shallow end with common G. cranbrooki and rare G. aeroides intermediate. However, overlap was substantial and as many as three species grazed on a single rock with no apparent interaction. All species were primarily day-active. Incomplete experiments suggest the fishes rapidly abandon rocks with reduced algal cover. Frequent spates with high discharge, turbidity and bedload movement disturbed the river. Disturbance, rather than biotic interactions, may be the dominant factor in the ecology of these fishes.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5

References

  • Belyea LR, Lancaster J (1999) Assembly rules within a contingent ecology. Oikos 86:402–416

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Breiman L, Friedman JH, Olshen RA, Stone CG (1984) Classification and regression trees. Wadsworth International Group, CA

    Google Scholar 

  • Brooks AJ, Haeusler T, Reinfelds I, Williams S (2005) Hydraulic microhabitats and the distribution of macroinvertebrate assemblages in riffles. Freshw Biol 50:331–344

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Buck S, Sazima I (1995) An assemblage of mailed catfishes (Loricariidae) in southeastern Brazil: distribution, activity and feeding. Ichthyol Explor Freshw 6:325–332

    Google Scholar 

  • Casatti L, Castro RMC (1998) A fish community of the São Francisco River headwaters riffles, southeastern Brazil. Ichthyol Explor Freshw 9:229–242

    Google Scholar 

  • Chase JM, Leibold MA (2003) Ecological niches: linking classical and contemporary approaches. University of Chicago Press, Chicago

    Google Scholar 

  • Choy SC (1996) Distributional ecology of freshwater fishes in tropical rainforest streams of Borneo. In: Edwards DS, Booth WE, Choy SC (eds) Tropical rainforest research—current issues. Kluwer, Dordrecht, pp 377–386

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Choy SC, Chin PK (1994) Freshwater fishes from the headwaters of the Belalong-Temburong river system, Brunei Darussalam, Borneo. Raffles Bull Zool 42:757–774

    Google Scholar 

  • Choy SC, Latif SA, Yung YN (1996) Resource use in a freshwater fish community of a tropical rainforest stream in northern Borneo. In: Edwards DS, Booth WE, Choy SC (eds) Tropical rainforest research—current issues. Kluwer, Dordrecht, pp 307–314

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Church M (1992) Channel morphology and typology. In: Calow P, Petts GE (eds) The rivers handbook, vol 1. Blackwell, London, pp 126–143

    Google Scholar 

  • Copp GH (2008) Putting multi-dimensionality back in the niche: diel vs. day-only niche breadth separation in stream fishes. Fund Appl Limnol 170:273–280

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cranbrook E, Edwards DS (1994) A tropical rainforest—the nature of biodiversity in Borneo at Belalong, Brunei. Royal Geographical Society, London and Sun Tree Publishing, Singapore

    Google Scholar 

  • Crow SK, Closs GP, Waters JM, Booker DJ, Wallis GP (2010) Niche partitioning and the effect of interspecific competition on microhabitat use by two sympatric galaxiid stream fishes. Freshw Biol 55:967–982

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • De’Ath G, Fabricius KE (2000) Classification and regression trees: a powerful yet simple technique for ecological data analysis. Ecology 81:3178–3192

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dudgeon D (1987) Niche specificities of four fish species (Homalopteridae, Cobitidae and Gobiidae) in a Hong Kong forest stream. Arch Hydrobiol 108:349–364

    Google Scholar 

  • Dudgeon D (2000) The ecology of tropical Asian rivers and streams in relation to biodiversity conservation. Ann Rev Ecol Syst 31:239–263

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dykes AP (2000) Climatic patterns in a tropical rainforest in Brunei. Geogr J 166:63–80

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dykes AP, Thornes JB (2000) Hillslope hydrology in tropical rainforest steeplands in Brunei. Hydrol Process 14:215–235

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ernest SKM, Brown JH, Thibault KM, White EP, Goheen JR (2008) Zero sum, the niche, and metacommunities: long-term dynamics of community assembly. Am Nat 172:E257–E269

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Fauth JE, Bernardo J, Camara M, Resetarits WJ, Buskirk JV, McCollum SA (1996) Simplifying the jargon of community ecology: a conceptual approach. Am Nat 147:282–286

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Frissell CA, Liss WJ, Warren CE, Hurley MD (1986) A hierarchical framework for stream habitat classification: viewing streams in a watershed context. Envir Manag 10:199–214

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Garcia LV (2004) Escaping the Bonferroni iron claw in ecological studies. Oikos 10:657–663

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gordon ND, McMahon TA, Finlayson BL (1992) Stream hydrology—an introduction for ecologists. John Wiley and Sons, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Gorman OT (1988) The dynamics of habitat use in a guild of Ozark minnows. Ecol Monogr 58:1–18

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gray ES, Stauffer JR (1999) Comparative microhabitat use of ecologically similar benthic fishes. Environ Biol Fish 56:443–453

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gray ES, Kellog KA, Stauffer JR (2005) Habitat shift of a native darter Etheostoma olmstedi (Teleostei: Percidae) in sympatry with a non-native darter Etheostoma zonale. Am Midl Nat 154:166–177

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Greenberg LA (1991) Habitat use and feeding behavior of thirteen species of benthic stream fishes. Environ Biol Fish 31:389–401

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Grossman GD, Freeman MC (1987) Microhabitat use in a stream fish assemblage. J Zool Lond 212:151–176

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Harding JS, Benfield EF, Bolstad PV, Helfman GS, Jones EBD (1998) Stream biodiversity: the ghost of land use past. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 95:14843–14847

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Helfman GS (1978) Patterns of community structure in fishes: summary and overview. Environ Biol Fish 3:129–148

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Herder F, Freyhof J (2006) Resource partitioning in a tropical stream fish assemblage. J Fish Biol 69:571–589

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Inger RF, Chin PK (1961) The Bornean cyprinoid fishes of the genus Gastromyzon Günther. Copeia 1961:166–176

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Inger RF, Chin PK (1962) The fresh-water fishes of North Borneo. Fieldiana: Zoology 45:1–268

    Google Scholar 

  • Ito S, Koike H, Omori K, Inoue M (2006) Comparison of current-velocity tolerance among six stream gobies of the genus Rhinogobius. Ichthyol Res 53:301–305

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Iwata T, Inoue M, Nakano S, Miyasaka H, Doi A, Covich AP (2003a) Shrimp abundance and habitat relationships in tropical rain-forest streams, Sarawak, Borneo. J Trop Ecol 19:387–395

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Iwata T, Nakano S, Inoue M (2003b) Impacts of past riparian deforestation on stream communities in a tropical rainforest in Borneo. Ecol Appl 13:461–473

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Jackson DA, Peres-Neto PR, Olden JD (2001) What controls who is where in freshwater fish communities –– the roles of biotic, abiotic, and spatial factors. Can J Fish Aquat Sci 58:157–170

    Google Scholar 

  • Johnson SL, Covich AP (2000) The importance of night-time observations for determining habitat preferences of stream biota. Regul Rivers: Res Mgmt 16:91–99

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lamouroux N, Poff NL, Angermeier PL (2002) Intercontinental convergence of stream fish community traits along geomorphic and hydraulic gradients. Ecology 83:1792–1807

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • LaPerriere JD, Martin DC (1986) Simplified method of measuring stream slope. In: Cold Regions Hydrology Symposium, Am Water Res Assoc, pp 143–145

  • Liao T-Y, Pan C-C, Tzeng C-S (2008) Migration of Sinogastromyzon puliensis (Teleostei: Balitoridae) in the Choshui River, Taiwan. Ichthyol Explor Freshw 19:193–200

    Google Scholar 

  • Lowe WH, Likens GE, Power ME (2006) Linking scales in stream ecology. Bioscience 56:591–597

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Martin-Smith KM (1998a) Relationships between fishes and habitats in rainforest streams in Sabah, Malaysia. J Fish Biol 52:458–482

    Google Scholar 

  • Martin-Smith KM (1998b) Effects of disturbance caused by selective timber extraction on fish communities in Sabah, Malaysia. Envir Biol Fish 53:155–167

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Martin-Smith KM, Laird LM, Bullough L, Lewis MG (1999) Mechanisms of maintenance of tropical freshwater fish communities in the face of disturbance. Phil Trans R Soc Lond B 354:1803–1810

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Meijaard E, Sheil D (2008) The persistence and conservation of Borneo’s mammals in lowland rain forests managed for timber: observations, overviews and opportunities. Ecol Res 23:21–34

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Monti D, Legendre P (2009) Shifts between biotic and physical driving forces of species organization under natural disturbance regimes. Can J Fish Aquat Sci 66:1282–1293

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Moyle PB, Senanayake FR (1984) Resource partitioning among the fishes of rainforest streams in Sri Lanka. J Zool Lond 202:195–223

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Peckarsky BL, Horn SC, Statzner B (1990) Stonefly predation along a hydraulic gradient: a test of the harsh-benign hypothesis. Freshw Biol 24:181–191

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Power ME (1990) Resource enhancement by indirect effects of grazers: armored catfish, algae and sediment. Ecology 71:897–904

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Power ME, Matthews WJ (1983) Algae-grazing minnows (Campostoma anomalum), piscivorous bass (Micropterus spp.), and the distribution of attached algae in a small prairie-margin stream. Oecologia 60:328–332

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Pringle CM, Hamazaki T (1997) Effects of fishes on algal response to storms in a tropical stream. Ecology 78:2432–2442

    Google Scholar 

  • Rachmatika I,Nasi R, Sheil D, Wan M (2005) A first look at the fish species of the Middle Malinau—taxonomy, ecology, vulnerability and importance. Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Jakarta, www.cifor.cgiar.org. Accessed 15 June 2009

  • Rosenfeld JS, Post J, Robins G, Hatfield T (2007) Hydraulic geometry as a physical template for the river continuum: application to optimal flows and longitudinal trends in salmonid habitat. Can J Fish Aquat Sci 64:755–767

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ross ST (1986) Resource partitioning in fish assemblages: a review of field studies. Copeia 1986:352–388

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Samat A, Md-Nor S, Ghaffar MA (2002) Diversity and conservation status of fishes inhabits Malaysian highlands’ stream systems. J Wildl Parks 20:109–118

    Google Scholar 

  • Samat A, Mazlan AG, Zaidi CC (2005) Occurrence, abundance and habitat preference of the balitorid fishes in six perennial forest streams of Danum Valley conservation area. In: Din LB, Yahya M, Norhayati A, Nizam MS, Sinun W, Latiff A (eds) Danum Valley Conservation Area: physical, biological & social environments, Yayasan Sabah. Kota Kinabalu and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Selangor, pp 217–230

    Google Scholar 

  • Schoener TW (1974) Resource partitioning in ecological communities. Science 185:27–39

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Scott MC, Helfman GS (2001) Native invasions, homogenization, and the mismeasure of integrity of fish assemblages. Fisheries 26(11):6–15

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Skyfield JP, Grossman GD (2008) Microhabitat use, movements and abundance of gilt darters (Percina evides) in southern Appalachian (USA) streams. Ecol Freshw Fish 17:219–230

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sodhi NS, Posa MRC, Lee TM, Bickford D, Koh LP, Brook BW (2010) The state and conservation of Southeast Asian biodiversity. Biodivers Conserv 19:317–328

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Statzner B, Gore JA, Resh VH (1988) Hydraulic stream ecology: observed patterns and potential applications. J N Am Benthol Soc 7:307–360

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Stauffer JR, Boltz JM, Kellogg KA, van Snik ES (1996) Microhabitat partitioning in a diverse assemblage of darters in the Allegheny River system. Envir Biol Fish 46:37–44

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Steuer JJ, Newton TJ, Zigler SJ (2008) Use of complex hydraulic variables to predict the distribution and density of unionids in a side channel of the Upper Mississippi River. Hydrobiologia 610:67–82

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Stewardson MJ, McMahon TA (2002) A stochastic model of hydraulic variations within stream channels. Water Res Res 38:1–14

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • SYSTAT (2002) SYSTAT 10.2. SYSTAT Software Inc, CA

    Google Scholar 

  • Tan HH (2006) The Borneo suckers. Revision of the torrent loaches of Borneo (Balitoridae: Gastromyzon, Neogastromyzon). Natural History Publications (Borneo), Kota Kinabalu

    Google Scholar 

  • Tan HH, Sulaiman ZH (2006) Three new species of Gastromyzon (Teleosti: Balitoridae) from the Temburong River basin, Brunei Darussalam, Borneo. Zootaxa 1117:1–19

    Google Scholar 

  • Welsh SA, Perry SA (1998) Habitat partitioning in a community of darters in the Elk River, West Virginia. Envir Biol Fish 51:411–419

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • White M, Klum M (2008) Borneo’s moment of truth. Natl Geogr 214(5):34–63

    Google Scholar 

  • Winemiller KO, Agostinho AA, Caramaschi EP (2008) Fish ecology in tropical streams. In: Dudgeon D (ed) Tropical stream ecology. Academic Press, London, pp 107–146

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Yang GY, Dudgeon D (2009) Seasonal and inter-stream variations in the population dynamics, growth and secondary production of an algivorous fish (Pseudogastromyzon myersi: Balitoridae) in monsoonal Hong Kong. Freshw Biol 54:1960–1976

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Yang GY, Dudgeon D (2010a) Dietary variation and food selection by an algivorous loach (Pseudogastromyzon myersi: Balitoridae) in Hong Kong streams. Mar Freshw Res 61:49–56

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Yang GY, Dudgeon D (2010b) Response of grazing impacts of an algivorous fish (Pseudogastromyzon myersi: Balitoridae) to seasonal disturbance in Hong Kong streams. Freshw Biol 55:411–423

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Yang GY, Tang T, Dudgeon D (2009) Spatial and seasonal variations in benthic algal assemblages in streams in monsoonal Hong Kong. Hydrobiologia 632:189–200

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Yule CM, Boyero L, Marchant R (2010) Effects of sediment pollution on food webs in a tropical river (Borneo, Indonesia). Mar Freshw Res 61:204–213

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Zar JH (1984) Biostatistical analysis. Prentice-Hall Inc, Englewood

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

Research was conducted under permit UBD/KBFSC/R/2 at Kuala Belalong Field Studies Centre of Universiti Brunei Darussalam. I thank station director Dr. Kamariah Abu Salim. Station managers Md. Salleh Abd. Bat and Rodzay Abd. Wahab and staff Sucipto Wasid Alm, Razik Anak Sapoh and others made my introduction to the Bornean rainforest productive and enjoyable. Terima kasih! Ulmar Grafe was host, advisor and friend. Oliver Konopik provided photographs. Correspondence with S. Choy, A. Dykes, K. Martin-Smith and H. Tan was very helpful. Linda Sheldon, who missed the trip, provided insights and technical support during manuscript preparation.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Andrew L. Sheldon.

Electronic supplementary material

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

ESM Fig. 1

(PDF 901 kb)

ESM Table 1

(DOC 32.5 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Sheldon, A.L. Comparative habitat use by grazing fishes in a Bornean stream. Environ Biol Fish 92, 381–390 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10641-011-9849-4

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10641-011-9849-4

Keywords

  • Niche partitioning
  • Microhabitat
  • Disturbance
  • Gastromyzon
  • Brunei Darussalam