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    1. Mechanisms driving patterns of occurrence and co-occurrence among North
    American freshwater fishes are poorly understood. In particular, the influence of
    biotic interactions on coexistence among stream reaches and their effects on regional
    species distribution patterns is not well understood for congeneric headwater
    2. Occupancy models provide a useful framework for examining patterns of co-occurrence
    while also accounting for imperfect detection. Occupancy models may
    be extended to test for evidence that a dominant species influences the occurrence
    of a subordinate species and thus evaluate support for the hypothesis that
    species interactions drive patterns of coexistence.
    3. We examined patterns of occurrence and co-occurrence at the stream-reach scale
    among three species of darters (Percidae: Etheostomatinae) that occupy headwater
    streams within a Gulf Coastal Plain drainage in the south-eastern U.S.A. We
    assessed species occurrences at 97 sites in first- to third-order streams on one
    occasion each and used data from four sub-reaches sampled with equal effort at
    each site to estimate species-specific detection probabilities. Following sampling,
    a suite of habitat variables was collected at three equidistant points along each
    of the three transects established within a sub-reach. Coarse (stream-segment,
    catchment, network) scale variables were also incorporated using geospatial data.
    Single-species and two-species occupancy models were used to examine patterns
    of occupancy and coexistence.
    4. The occupancy of each species was influenced by distinct habitat variables.
    Goldstripe darters (Etheostoma parvipinne) were constrained by a stream size gradient,
    groundwater input appeared to influence the occurrence of Yazoo darters
    (Etheostoma raneyi), and local habitat heterogeneity (e.g. variation in depth
    and current velocity) appeared to influence the occupancy of redspot darters
    (Etheostoma artesiae).
    5. We found no evidence that the presence of one species influenced the occurrence
    of another within a stream-reach based on two-species occupancy models.
    Rather, species co-occurrences were best explained as independent occurrences
    within a stream-reach according to species-specific habitat associations.

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    Hubble, Joshua P.; Schaefer, Jacob F.; Warren Jr., Melvin L.;Sterling, Kenneth A. 2020. Modelling patterns of coexistence of three congeneric headwater fishes. Freshwater Biology. 2020;65:2017-2027. DOI: 10.1111/fwb.13486


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    coexistence, freshwater fish, headwater streams

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