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Fish habitat associations in a spatially variable desert stream

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White sands pupfish Cyprinodon tularosa were sampled with minnow traps along the length of Lost River, a highly variable desert stream in New Mexico, to evaluate if their abundance, median standard length (LS) and sex ratio values differed by microhabitat variables. Habitat measurements were made in a 4 m2 area around the minnow trap. White Sands pupfish populations were primarily structured by LS. As specific conductance and surface area increased, median size of fish decreased. Shallow areas with higher specific conductance were correlated with an increased number of fish.

Keywords: Cyprinodon tularosa; fish length; habitat; pupfish; salinity; specific conductance

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: Department of Biological Sciences, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND 58105, U.S.A. and ‡49 CES/CEV, Holloman Air Force Base, NM 88330, U.S.A.

Publication date: 2006-05-01

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