Body size distributions in North American freshwater fish: large-scale factors
Version of Record online: 26 MAY 2011
© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Global Ecology and Biogeography
Volume 21, Issue 3, pages 383–392, March 2012
How to Cite
Griffiths, D. (2012), Body size distributions in North American freshwater fish: large-scale factors. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 21: 383–392. doi: 10.1111/j.1466-8238.2011.00680.x
- Issue online: 9 FEB 2012
- Version of Record online: 26 MAY 2011
- freshwater fish;
- habitat preference;
- North America;
Aim To document continental- and regional-scale variation in the size distributions of freshwater fish and examine some energetic, evolutionary and biogeographic explanations for these patterns.
Location North America.
Methods Regional species lists, coupled with habitat and body size information, were used to document the spatial patterns.
Results At the continental scale, riverine specialist fishes show a unimodal, right-skewed, body size distribution whereas habitat generalist and lacustrine specialist species exhibit bimodal size distributions, with only a slight preponderance of small-mode species. Most large-mode species are migratory. Resident species, unlike migratory ones, show a latitudinal increase in mean size, but the size increase across all species is steeper because the importance of large migratory species increases with latitude. Size distributions change from right- to left-skewed with increasing latitude. Maximum body size does not change with increasing family richness but minimum size declines and skewness increases, consistent with diversification of small species. Skewness does not vary with mean family body size.
Main conclusions Post-glacial recolonization by large, habitat generalist, migratory species is the main determinant of latitudinal size distribution trends. There is little support for the energetic hypothesis, but the data are consistent with a negative Cope's rule.