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Competitive Interactions Between Benthic Stream Fishes, Riffle Sculpin, Cottus gulosus, and Speckled Dace, Rhinichthys osculus

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Publisher
Canadian Science Publishing
Volume
39
Pages
1502–1502
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1139/f82-202
Source
Center for Watershed Sciences John Muir Institute of the Environment
License
Unknown

Abstract

Two morphologically dissimilar stream fishes occupied the same microhabitat in different riffles of Deer Creek, Tehama County, California. In a 12.5 km reach of the creek, speckled dace (Rhinichthys osculus) dominated riffles at the lower end while riffle sculpin (Cottus gulosus) dominated the riffles at the upper end, where dace were confined to slower water. Between these sets of riffles, relative abundances of the two species were negatively correlated. Routine metabolic rates of sculpin increased rapidly with temperature and indicated that sculpins were unable to tolerate temperatures in the low elevation riffles in the summer. Dace swimming performance appeared to be adequate at low temperatures to permit them to occupy the sculpin-dominated riffles. However, stream tank experiments indicated that at low temperatures sculpin were able to displace dace from cover in high velocity water. Our analysis thus demonstrated that competitive interactions between dace and sculpin for preferred microhabitat were mediated by temperature.Key words: competition, critical swimming velocity, experimental stream, microhabitat utilization, routine metabolism

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