Ecomorphological correlates in tropical stream fishes of southern India

A Bhat

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13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

I studied ecomorphological correlations in 18 stream fish species (belonging to five families) commonly occurring in diversity rich habitats of rivers in the central Western Ghats (Southern India). Univariate and multivariate analyses indicated a clear segregation of species in morphological and ecological (habitat) space. Cluster analyses using morphological features segregated species based mainly on their body shape and feeding parameters while habitat parameters segregated species according to their position along the water column and preference to runs or pool habitats. Principal component analyses showed that body size, head dimensions, mouth position and eye diameter were important characters for species segregation in morphological space while run or pool habitat type and the position of the fish in the water column best explained segregation of species in habitat space. Consistencies in some of the species clusters obtained from analyses on morphological characteristics and habitat preferences warrant closer examination of the relationships between them. These were studied employing multivariate methods like canonical correspondence analysis and the Mantel test. The tests revealed weak correlations indicating that in addition to morphology, other factors like behavioural, physiological and evolutionary constraints together are likely to play an important role in ecosystem structuring of these complex tropical assemblages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-225
Number of pages15
JournalEnvironmental Biology of Fishes
Volume73
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2005

Keywords

  • habitat
  • morphology
  • species segregation
  • Western Ghats
  • multivariate analyses
  • FRESH-WATER FISHES
  • LAKE TANA
  • RAINFOREST STREAMS
  • WESTERN-GHATS
  • LABRID FISHES
  • BARBS BARBUS
  • SRI-LANKA
  • ASSEMBLAGES
  • DIVERSIFICATION
  • BIOGEOGRAPHY

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