Fish population dynamics in a seasonally varying wetland

Donald L. DeAngelis, Joel C. Trexler, George Cosner, Adam Obaza, Fred Jopp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Small fishes in seasonally flooded environments such as the Everglades are capable of spreading into newly flooded areas and building up substantial biomass. Passive drift cannot account for the rapidity of observed population expansions. To test the 'reaction-diffusion' mechanism for spread of the fish, we estimated their diffusion coefficient and applied a reaction-diffusion model. This mechanism was also too weak to account for the spatial dynamics. Two other hypotheses were tested through modeling. The first-the 'refuge mechanism'-hypothesizes that small remnant populations of small fishes survive the dry season in small permanent bodies of water (refugia), sites where the water level is otherwise below the surface. The second mechanism, which we call the 'dynamic ideal free distribution mechanism' is that consumption by the fish creates a prey density gradient and that fish taxis along this gradient can lead to rapid population expansion in space. We examined the two alternatives and concluded that although refugia may play an important role in recolonization by the fish population during reflooding, only the second, taxis in the direction of the flooding front, seems capable of matching empirical observations. This study has important implications for management of wetlands, as fish biomass is an essential support of higher trophic levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1131-1137
Number of pages7
JournalEcological Modelling
Volume221
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 24 2010

Fingerprint

population dynamics
wetland
fish
taxis
refugium
ideal free distribution
biomass
recolonization
refuge
trophic level
dry season
water level
flooding
modeling
water

Keywords

  • Diffusion-reaction model
  • Fish functional group
  • Fish refugia
  • Ideal free distribution
  • Wetland

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecological Modeling

Cite this

Fish population dynamics in a seasonally varying wetland. / DeAngelis, Donald L.; Trexler, Joel C.; Cosner, George; Obaza, Adam; Jopp, Fred.

In: Ecological Modelling, Vol. 221, No. 8, 24.04.2010, p. 1131-1137.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

DeAngelis, DL, Trexler, JC, Cosner, G, Obaza, A & Jopp, F 2010, 'Fish population dynamics in a seasonally varying wetland', Ecological Modelling, vol. 221, no. 8, pp. 1131-1137. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2009.12.021
DeAngelis, Donald L. ; Trexler, Joel C. ; Cosner, George ; Obaza, Adam ; Jopp, Fred. / Fish population dynamics in a seasonally varying wetland. In: Ecological Modelling. 2010 ; Vol. 221, No. 8. pp. 1131-1137.
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