Site Fidelity and Movement of Etheostoma fonticola with Implications to Endangered Species Management


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Site Fidelity and Movement of Etheostoma fonticola with Implications to Endangered Species Management
Series Title:
Transactions of the American Fisheries Society
Dammeyer, Nathan T.
Phillips, Catherine T.
Bonner, Timothy H.
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We quantified site fidelity, directionality and magnitude of movement, and factors associated with movement of the endangered Fountain Darter Etheostoma fonticola, a narrowly distributed (<11 km of stream habitat) and small etheostomid, within a 200‐m section of a spring‐fed river on the Edwards Plateau of south‐central Texas. Etheostoma fonticola exhibited high site fidelity, moving on average (±1 SD) 10 ± 17 m during a 1‐year period. Site fidelity was most notable in areas with low‐growing aquatic vegetation (i.e., algae or Ricca fluitans). Movement was most often towards areas with low‐growing aquatic vegetation (69%), more frequently in an upstream direction (81%), in winter and spring–summer seasons (>55%), and among larger fish (>30 mm TL). Maximum distance moved was 95 m within 26 d. Movement of E. fonticola was consistent with movement of narrowly distributed and slackwater etheostomids as well as widely distributed, swift‐water etheostomids. As such, movement potential and maximum movement do not satisfactorily explain why some darters are more widely distributed than others. Collectively, etheostomids conform to the theory of restricted movements among resident stream fishes, but movement of large distances occurs and is probably necessary, even among species with high site fidelity.
Original Version:
Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, Vol. 142, no. 4 (2013-07-01).

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