CSIRO Publishing blank image blank image blank image blank imageBooksblank image blank image blank image blank imageJournalsblank image blank image blank image blank imageAbout Usblank image blank image blank image blank imageShopping Cartblank image blank image blank image You are here: Journals > Marine & Freshwater Research   
Marine & Freshwater Research
Journal Banner
  Advances in the Aquatic Sciences
blank image Search
blank image blank image
blank image
  Advanced Search

Journal Home
About the Journal
Editorial Structure
Online Early
Current Issue
Just Accepted
All Issues
Special Issues
Research Fronts
Virtual Issues
Sample Issue
For Authors
General Information
Submit Article
Author Instructions
Open Access
For Referees
General Information
Review an Article
Referee Guidelines
Annual Referee Index
For Subscribers
Subscription Prices
Customer Service
Print Publication Dates

blue arrow e-Alerts
blank image
Subscribe to our Email Alert or RSS feeds for the latest journal papers.

red arrow Connect with us
blank image
facebook twitter LinkedIn


Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 61(5)

Fish community structure in an intermittent river: the importance of environmental stability, landscape factors and within-pool habitat descriptors

L. S. Beesley A B C, J. Prince A

A School of Animal Biology, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia.
B Present address: Freshwater Ecology, The Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, Department of Sustainability and Environment, Heidelberg, Vic 3084, Australia.
C Corresponding author. Email: leah.beesley@dse.vic.gov.au
PDF (199 KB) $25
 Export Citation


In rivers worldwide, hydrological persistence and variability (i.e. environmental stability) typically parallel longitudinal changes in habitat. This interaction complicates determination of the hierarchy of mechanisms that structure fish communities along rivers. In this study, we examined fish species richness and presence‚Äďabsence in pools of an intermittent river system containing underground water storages (Fortescue River, north-west Australia), a system that was predicted to uncouple this relationship. Stability, measured by pool persistence, was unrelated to a pool's maximum depth or its position in the catchment, indicating partial decoupling. However, pool stability remained correlated with habitat diversity and log-transformed surface area. Model selection indicated that species richness was better described by pool stability and the landscape factor stream order than by within-pool habitat descriptors. Permanent pools low in the catchment contained more species than unstable pools in headwater streams. We conclude that the distribution of fish in the Fortescue River is shaped predominantly by processes of extirpation and re-colonisation. Management efforts in this river and similar intermittent systems should focus on the preservation of refuge pools, and limit the construction of barriers that limit dispersal.

Keywords: assemblage organisation, dispersal, extinction/re-colonisation, hydroperiod, Pilbara, stream.

Subscriber Login

Legal & Privacy | Contact Us | Help


© CSIRO 1996-2015