Controls on fish distribution and abundance in temporary wetlands

Matthew J. Baber, Daniel L. Childers, Kimberly J. Babbitt, David H. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Our main goal was to determine if fish distribution and adundance in temporary wetlands were shaped primarily by large-scale (landscape) or small-scale (local) characteristics and to investigate the influence of cattle ranching on fish assemblages. A total of 24 temporary ponds were selected at the Kissimmee Prairie Sanctuary and the Mac-Arthur Agro-Ecology Research Center. Each wetland was sampled for fish using throw traps and dip nets during 1999. Landscape processes (connectivity to permanent water bodies) predominately influenced fish assemblages, although local processes (depth-hydroperiod) were also important. Furthermore, no colonizing species went locally extinct before wetlands began to dry. Our findings suggest that large-scale processes that influence colonization dynamics are of more importance than small-scale processes that influence extinction dynamics. Finally, hydrological changes (ditching) associated with agriculture (cattle ranching) have adversely affected temporary wetland fish assemblages by reducing wetland hydroperiods and connectivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1441-1450
Number of pages10
JournalCanadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science


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