Overview of Fishes and Fish Assemblages
The mass of women and men who study ecology of fishes do indeed “lead lives of quiet desperation”—but not the world-weary despair of Thoreau. Most, like Reighard, exist in a state of chronic tension between deep satisfaction with their work and frustration from the fact that fishes are so complex that no individual can understand all that could be known about their ecology, even if there were no “university (or agency or museum) duties.” There are so many kinds of fishes, occupying such diverse habitats, evolving in such complex ways, and with such complicated ecological traits, that a total synthesis of “understanding fishes” will always elude ichthyologists and ecologists. This book is an attempt to synthesize what is known about ecology of freshwater fishes, to make sense of their distribution and abundance across the Earth, their membership in local assemblages, and the ways they, in turn, influence the ecosystems where they live. These are some of the “patterns in freshwater fish ecology” addressed in this book.
KeywordsFish Species Fish Assemblage Stream Fish East African Rift Vertebrate Group
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