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Comparative Ecology of the Darters Etheostoma podostemone, E. flabellare and Percina roanoka in the Upper Roanoke River Drainage, Virginia
William J. Matthews, Jeffrey R. Bek and Eric Surat
Vol. 1982, No. 4 (Dec. 21, 1982), pp. 805-814
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1444090
Page Count: 10
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Etheostoma flabellare, Etheostoma podostemone and Percina roanoka, which co-exist in mainstreams of the upper Roanoke River drainage, Virginia, exhibit partial ecological segregation in sympatry. E. flabellare and P. roanoka are trophic generalists relative to E. podostemone, which specializes on chironomid prey. Differences among the species in diet breadth are consistent with differences in their morphology, with E. flabellare having the greatest width of gape and widest diversity of prey taxa and size. E. flabellare and P. roanoka differ somewhat in microhabitat, with P. roanoka occupying the swiftest portions of the streams. Despite partial segregation of the species across food and microhabitat niche axes, all three overlapped strongly in their overall use of resources. Of the three species, only E. flabellare is common in small tributaries of the drainage, where food and microhabitat availability seem likely to limit fish diversity.