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Context-Specific Trophic and Functional Ecology of Fishes of Small Stream Ecosystems in the Ouachita National ForestAuthor(s): William J. Matthews; A. Maria Miller-Lemke; Melvin L. Warren; Donna Cobb; Jeffery G. Stewart; Betty Crump; Frances P. Gelwick
Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-74. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. pp. 221-230
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
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DescriptionAbstract - Fish play diverse and important roles in stream ecosystems, but details about ecosystem effects are poorly known for many freshwater fish species. A requisite first step to understanding functional roles of individual species is information on their trophic ecology in the context of particular environmental settings. Stomach contents were analyzed for approximately 1,600 individuals of 21 common fish species (mostly insectivores or omnivores) from four streams in the Ouachita National Forest, Arkansas. Two streams (South Fork Alum Creek and Crooked Creek) were in watersheds with little recent timber harvest and two (Bread Creek and Blaylock Creek) were in watersheds harvested under Forest Service standards and guides. Individual fish species were distinctive in kinds of foods eaten, and were not substitutable for each other in ecosystems. Benthic and water column species differed in diet, but interspecific differences in food consumption were not closely linked to taxonomic similarity. Composition of fish diets were overall 70 to 85 percent similar between harvested and non-harvested watersheds, with dipterans and terrestrial insects the major foods used by all fish assem-blages; most individual species had similar diets in different creeks or longitudinally within creeks. Foods eaten per species, multiplied by estimates of fish density from snorkeling and seining surveys, resulted in an order of magnitude prediction of consumption of about 13,000 invertebrate food items per day per 100 m of stream by the local fish assemblage.
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CitationMatthews, William J.; Miller-Lemke, A. Maria; Warren, Melvin L., Jr.; Cobb, Donna; Stewart, Jeffery G.; Crump, Betty; Gelwick, Frances P. 2004. Context-Specific Trophic and Functional Ecology of Fishes of Small Stream Ecosystems in the Ouachita National Forest. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-74. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. pp. 221-230
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