Southeastern freshwater fishes

By: , and 
Edited by: Edward T. LaRoeGaye S. FarrisCatherine E. PuckettPeter D. Doran, and Michael J. Mac



North America has the richest fauna of temperate freshwater fishes in the world, with about 800 native species in the waters of Canada and the United States. The center of this diversity is in the southeastern United States, where as many as 500 species may exist (62% of the continental fauna north of Mexico). Many coastal marine species also enter fresh waters of the Southeast, and at least 34 foreign fish species are established in the region.          

Although freshwater fishes of the United States are better studied than any fish fauna of comparable scope in the world (Lee et al. 1980; Hocutt and Wiley 1986; Matthews and Heins 1987; Page and Burr 1991; Mayden 1992), large gaps exist in scientific knowledge about the biology and ecology of most species. New species are still being discovered, and the taxonomy of other species is being refined.

Seriously declining populations of freshwater fishes in the United States concern the scientific community (Deacon et al. 1979; Williams et al. 1989; Moyle and Leidy 1992; Warren and Burr 1994). This article briefly summarizes the current conservation status of southeastern freshwater fishes; the Southeast is emphasized because of its important fish biodiversity and to focus attention on the growing problem of adverse human impacts on the region's aquatic habitats (Mount 1986; Burkhead and Jenkins 1991; Etnier and Starnes 1991; Warren and Burr 1994).

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Southeastern freshwater fishes
Year Published 1995
Language English
Publisher National Biological Service
Publisher location Washington, D.C.
Contributing office(s) Florida Integrated Science Center
Description 4 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Monograph
Larger Work Title Our living resources: A report to the nation on the distribution, abundance, and health of U.S. plants, animals, and ecosystems
First page 144
Last page 147
Country United States
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