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Non-interactive fish communities in the coastal streams of North-western France

Abstract : 1. Spatial patterns of freshwater fish species at regional and local scales were investigated to explore the possible role of interspecific interactions in influencing distribution and abundance within communities occupying coastal streams of North-Western France. 2. Nine sites from nine streams situated in the same biogeographical region were sampled annually over the 6-year period from 1990 to 1995. 3. Similar habitats (sites) with richer regional colonization pools exhibited proportionally richer local communities in terms of number of species, total density and total biomass of individuals. Furthermore, no negative relationships were found between density and biomass of each of the most common species and local species richness. 4. Results of dynamic regression models (applied to the above-mentioned species) suggest an absence of strong competition between all pairs of species. 5. The evidence on lack of density compensation for species-poor communities and absence of perceptible interspecific competition between species suggest that the communities studied are non-interactive. 6. Two main explanations can be advanced. First, the local abundance of species in the communities studied could be determined through differential responses to unpredictable environmental changes, rather than through biological interactions. Second, as a result of historical events, the communities studied are reduced in congeneric species which can limit, in turn, the influence of interspecific competition in structuring these communities. 7. These results underline the strong influence of regional processes in shaping local riverine fish communities and minimize the possible influence of species interactions in governing these communities.
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Thierry Oberdorff, Bernard Hugueny, Arthur Compin, Djamila Belkessam. Non-interactive fish communities in the coastal streams of North-western France. Journal of Animal Ecology, Wiley, 1998, vol. 67, pp. 472-484. ⟨10.1046/j.1365-2656.1998.00211.x⟩. ⟨hal-00953565⟩



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