Nom du corpus

Corpus Systématique Animale

Titre du document

Fish ecology and management of the Sepik-Ramu, New Guinea, a large contemporary tropical river basin

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Springer (journals)
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Type de document
Mots-clés d'auteur
  • Ichthyofauna
  • Colonisation
  • Adaptation
  • Speciation
  • Diversity
  • Zoogeography
  • Habitats
  • Fish catches
  • Fish introductions
Nom du fichier dans la ressource
  • David Coates
  • Fisheries Department, Food and Agriculture Organisation, c/o United Nations Development Programme, P.O. Box 1041, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

Synopsis: The ichthyofauna of the Sepik-Ramu basin is composed of diadromous species and the freshwater derivatives of marine families. Fish species diversity, ichthyomass and fish catches are low even by Australasian standards. Three major factors have produced the depauperate ichthyofauna and restricted fishery within the basin: First, the zoogeographic origins of the ichthyofauna. Australasian freshwater fishes, being mainly derived from marine families, generally exhibit ecological characteristics that have evolved for life in estuaries, not rivers. This has led to peculiarities in river fish ecology and explains the probable low fish production from rivers in this region in general. Several important riverine trophic resources are not exploited by the Australasian freshwater ichthyofauna. The modes of reproduction amongst the Australasian freshwater ichthyofauna have limited the colonisation and exploitation of floodplain habitats. Second, Sepik-Ramu lowland habitats, especially floodplains, are very young. This has resulted in low fish species diversity in lowlands, whilst diversity at higher altitudes is equable, in comparison to river systems in southern New Guinea/ northern Australia. Third, the Sepik-Ramu lacks an estuary in sharp contrast to river systems in southern New Guinea or northern Australia. Most of the 18 families of Australasian fishes missing from the Sepik-Ramu are probably absent because of this factor alone. In particular, the Sepik-Ramu has not been colonised by any family of fishes having pelagic eggs, resulting in the loss from the fauna of the few Australasian fish taxa with high reproductive rates. Consequently, the general problems with river fish ecology in Australasia are exacerbated within the Sepik-Ramu by the particular development and morphology of the basin. Fish species diversity in the Sepik-Ramu is low, even in comparison with those taxa representative of marine families resident in rivers in nearby zoogeographic regions (S.E. Asia) whose ichthyofaunas are otherwise dominated by freshwater dispersant groups. The Sepik-Ramu ichthyofauna is considered noteworthy for what is absent, not what is present. Ichthyomass and fish production can be increased by fish species introductions whilst, in theory, biodiversity of the native fish fauna can be maintained. The directions in which ecological evaluations of proposed introductions might proceed in practice for the Sepik-Ramu are discussed but are constrained by the lack of knowledge on species interactions from other areas.

Catégories Science-Metrix
  • 1 - applied sciences
  • 2 - agriculture, fisheries & forestry
  • 3 - fisheries
Catégories INIST
  • 1 - sciences appliquees, technologies et medecines
  • 2 - sciences biologiques et medicales
  • 3 - sciences biologiques fondamentales et appliquees. psychologie
  • 4 - vertebres: zoologie generale, morphologie, phylogenese, systematique, cytogenetique, repartition geographique
Catégories Scopus
  • 1 - Life Sciences ; 2 - Agricultural and Biological Sciences ; 3 - Aquatic Science
  • 1 - Life Sciences ; 2 - Agricultural and Biological Sciences ; 3 - Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Catégories WoS
  • 1 - science ; 2 - marine & freshwater biology
  • 1 - science ; 2 - ecology
Identifiant ISTEX

Environmental Biology of Fishes

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