Faunal diversity
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Faunal Diversity. FISH 7380 Dr. e. irwin. Objectives. Understand the basic structure of riverine communities Learn broad patterns of faunal diversity across N.AM. river systems Understand mechanisms contributing to and underlying differences in species richness among river systems

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Faunal Diversity

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Faunal diversity

Faunal Diversity

FISH 7380

Dr. e. irwin


Objectives

Objectives

  • Understand the basic structure of riverine communities

  • Learn broad patterns of faunal diversity across N.AM. river systems

  • Understand mechanisms contributing to and underlying differences in species richness among river systems

  • Know the “big five”, and other especially diverse N.AM. fish families

  • Wrestle with "ecological consequences of diversity"


Faunal diversity

Riverine communities: webs of the really well-known (fishes) and the totally undescribed (fungi & bacteria)

  • Functional Groups

  • Heterotrophy vs. Autotrophy

  • Food webs

  • Diversity: "the variety and variability among living organisms and the ecological complexes in which they occur (Office of Technology Assessment 1987)"


Food webs

Food webs


Microbes

Microbes

  • Bacteria, protists and fungi-

  • decomposers of POM, retain and transform DOM


Meiofauna

Meiofauna

  • pass through 500 micron, retained 40 micron sieve

  • 58-82% of species in streams

  • Rotifers (Bdelloidae=benthic group 2,500 species 30% planktonic)

  • Gastrotrichs (Chaetonotida (mainly FW 350 species)

    • e.g. rotifers, harpaticoids, cyclopoid copepods, flatworms. gastrotrichs, young insects….

  • Interstitial, burrowing, epibenthic


Meiofauna1

Meiofauna


Macroinvertebrates

Macroinvertebrates

  • > 15,000 aquatic invertebrates described, including:

    • 4665 Diptera

    • 1640 Coleoptera

    • 1340 Trichoptera ("The queen order of insects")

    • 400 Hemiptera

    • 50 Megaloptera

    • 635 Lepidoptera (aquatic!)

    • 575 Ephemeroptera

    • 550 Plecoptera

    • 415 Odonates - 170 in AL (Krotzer abstract)

    • 386 Crayfishes - 70 in AL (Johnson thesis)

    • 500 Gastropoda

    • 320 Bivalva


Faunal diversity

Diptera

Coleoptera

Tricoptera


Faunal diversity

Hemiptera

Megaloptera

Lepidoptera


Faunal diversity

Odonata

Plecoptera

Decapoda


Faunal diversity

Bivalvia

Gastropoda

Fat pocketbook- Potamilus capax

Interrupted rocksnail Leptotoxis formeani


Faunal diversity

  • “New species are described annually, and a total head count never will be complete” (Williams and Neves 1992)

  • "The conditions for speciation of stream dwelling animals has been nearly ideal in eastern North America for many million years. One of the results has been the origin of what is probably the richest freshwater mollusk fauna in the world." David H. Stansbery, 1970.


Fishes

Fishes

  • About 800 spp in North America, excluding Mexico, mostly riverine

    • compared to (best available underestimates!):

    • about 10250 freshwater spp worldwide

  • South America2800 spp

  • Africa2000 spp

  • North America (& Mexico)1100 spp

  • Europe250 spp

  • Australia230 spp

  • Alabama328 spp


Faunal diversity

Floodplain rivers are diverse


Patterns of diversity of fishes in north america why

Patterns of diversity of fishes in North America: Why?

  • The mighty Mississippi, the southeast, and the west

  • Ecological stability + geographic instability = spp diversity

  • Drainages are not equally blessed


Na drainages

NA drainages

  • Mississippi-Missouri-Ohio : richest, 375 spp, 31 families;

    • SE Province: Atl and Gulf Slope drainages, Savannah R to Ponchartrain, 268 spp, 31 families

  • Western systems: fewer spp, but high endemism. Why impt from a management perspective?

    • e.g., Colorado River Basin 32 spp, 7 families - 69% spp endemic (22)


Na fishes

NA fishes

  • N. Am. fishes a relatively young fauna

  • 60% Miocene or younger (about 26-23 mya)

    • (Miller, cited in Hocutt and Wiley, p 443).


Sabretooth salmon 3 mya

Sabretooth salmon (3 mya)


The big five

The big five

  • Nearly 80% comprise 5 families -

    • Cyprinidae 302 spp

      • (largest family of fishes; 1600 spp worldwide)

    • Percidae 165 spp

      • This number is already out of date!)

    • Catostomidae 70 spp

      • (This one is, too!)

    • Ictaluridae 48 spp

      • (endemic to N Am; 27 spp are madtoms)

    • Centrarchidae 32 spp


Western rivers

Western Rivers

  • Small fishes rule, except out west


Stability diversity

Stability-diversity

N. M. Burkhead, S. J. Walsh, B. J. Freeman and J. D. Williams, 1997. Status and restoration of the Etowah River, an imperiled southern Appalachian ecosystem. In Aquatic Fauna in Peril: The Southeastern Perspective, G. W. Benz and D. E. Collins, eds.


Imperilment

Imperilment


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