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

Thomas Boll, Şeyda Erdoğan, Ümmühan Aslan Bıçkı, Nur Filiz, Arda Özen, Eti Ester Levi, Sandra Brucet, Erik Jeppesen, Meryem Beklioğlu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2147
JournalWater
Volume15
Issue12
Number of pages12
ISSN2073-4441
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023

Keywords

  • geometrical length
  • lake fish community
  • nutrients
  • salinity
  • size diversity

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