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Fish Size Structure as an Indicator of Fish Diversity: A Study of 40 Lakes in Türkiye

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  • Thomas Boll, Middle East Technical University, COWI A/S
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  • Şeyda Erdoğan, Middle East Technical University, Bozok University
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  • Ümmühan Aslan Bıçkı, Wildlife and Protected Areas
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  • Nur Filiz, Limnology Laboratory and EKOSAM, Middle East Technical University, Centre for Ecosystem Research and Implementation
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  • Arda Özen, Middle East Technical University, Cankiri Karatekin University
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  • Eti Ester Levi
  • Sandra Brucet, Aarhus Universitet, The University of Vic - Central University of Catalonia, ICREA
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  • Erik Jeppesen
  • Meryem Beklioğlu, Middle East Technical University

Body size is a master trait in aquatic ecosystems to complement traditional taxonomic diversity measures. Based on a dataset of fish communities from 40 Turkish lakes covering a wide environmental gradient and continental to dry cold steppe to Mediterranean climates, we elucidated the key variables controlling size diversity, geometric mean length and number of size classes in the fish community. We further examined how these three size measures were related to species diversity and species richness. A GLM analysis revealed that both size diversity and the number of sizes were strongly related to taxonomic diversity and richness. Furthermore, fish size diversity decreased with decreasing annual precipitation, while the number of size classes increased with increasing lake area but decreased with increasing salinity. The geometric mean length of fish decreased with total nitrogen and increased with altitude. The inter-relatedness between the number of size classes and lake area suggests an increase in fish niches with increasing ecosystem size, while fish are smaller and have fewer size classes in lakes with higher salinity. We conclude that size measures provide valuable integrating information on lake fish diversity; thus, they may complement, but not replace, more traditional taxonomic fish measures.

Antal sider12
StatusUdgivet - jun. 2023

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