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Temporal Assessment of a West Texas Stream Fish Assemblage

Timothy H. Bonner, Chad Thomas, Casey S. Williams and John P. Karges
The Southwestern Naturalist
Vol. 50, No. 1 (Mar., 2005), pp. 74-78
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3672642
Page Count: 5
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Temporal Assessment of a West Texas Stream Fish Assemblage
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Abstract

We compared fish survey data across 3 collection periods (1952 to 1968, 1976 to 1994, and 2001 to 2002) from Independence Creek (Rio Grande drainage, Terrell County, Texas) to assess long-term changes in fish assemblage structure. The number of species collected declined from 28 in the 1952 to 1968 collection period, to 26 (plus 1 hybrid) in the 1974 to 1994 collection period, and to 23 (plus 1 hybrid) in the 2001 to 2002 collection period. Species loss included 5 native fishes that currently persist in the adjoining Pecos River and 4 species that were non-native to the lower Pecos River. Species additions included species native to the Pecos River that rarely inhabit smaller tributary streams and species that were introduced into the Pecos River. Twenty species were collected consistently from 1952 through 2002. Unweighted averages of abundant species across collection periods were Dionda episcopa (32%), Gambusia spp. (23%), Cyprinella proserpina (11%), C. lutrensis (10%), and Notropis amabilis (9%). Although apparent extirpations and additions of several rare species (<1% in relative abundance each) were noted, the Independence Creek fish assemblage remained similar during the last 50 years, in contrast to the general trend of native species reductions in much of the Rio Grande drainage. /// Comparamos los datos de estudios pesqueros en el arroyo Independencia (cuenca del río Grande, condado de Terrell, Texas), a lo largo de tres períodos de colecta (1952 a 1968, 1976 a 1994 y 2001 a 2002), para evaluar los cambios a largo plazo en la estructura del ensamblaje de peces. El número de especies colectadas declinó de 28 en el periodo 1952 a 1968, a 26 (más 1 híbrido) en el periodo 1974 a 1994 y a 23 (más 1 híbrido) en el periodo 2001 a 2002. La pérdida de especies incluyó a 5 especies de peces nativas que actualmente persisten en el adyacente río Pecos y 4 especies no nativas de la parte baja del mismo río. El aumento de especies incluyó especies nativas del río Pecos que rara vez habitan en los pequeños arroyos tributarios y especies que fueron introducidas al río Pecos. Veinte especies fueron colectadas consistentemente, de 1952 a 2002. Los promedios no ajustados de las especies abundantes a lo largo de los periodos de colecta fueron Dionda episcopa (32%), Gambusia spp. (23%), Cyprinella proserpina (11%), C. lutrensis (10%), y Notropis amabilis (9%). Aún cuando hubo erradicaciones y aumentos aparentes de varias especies raras (<1% de abundancia relativa de cada una), el ensamblaje de peces del arroyo Independencia se mantuvo similar durante los últimos 50 años, en contraste con la tendencia general en la reducción de especies nativas en la mayor parte de la cuenca del río Grande.

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