Back to top

SFS Annual Meeting

Monday, June 3, 2024
10:30 - 12:00

<< Back to Schedule

C02 Fish and Other Aquatic Vertebrates

10:30 - 10:45 | Freedom Ballroom F | NO FREE REFILLS: THE COSTS OF POND DRYING TO GROWTH AND SURVIVAL OF AQUATIC ECTOTHERMS

6/03/2024  |   10:30 - 10:45   |  Freedom Ballroom F

No free refills: the costs of pond drying to growth and survival of aquatic ectotherms Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and intensity of severe weather events such as droughts and floods. If droughts are occurring more often, an ecosystem will have less time in between drying events to return to its pre-drought conditions. Globally, ecosystems are increasingly operating out of a state of incomplete recovery from these drying events, which can cause long-lasting effects such as altered resource availability, changes to water quality and temperature, microhabitat suitability, etc. Our study investigates the impacts of incomplete recovery following a drying event on the growth and development of larval anuran tadpoles. Previous studies have quantified the impacts of drying events on larval amphibians as water levels are decreasing, but fail to address the carryover effects on later generations after the pond has refilled. We used a 64-mesocosm array with a 2x4 factorial design to assess the impacts of 1) drying treatment (undried vs. dried-refilled) and 2) tadpole density (10, 20, 40, or 80 individuals per tank). Our results suggest strong carryover effects from past drying events on larval amphibian growth and development and highlight the need for further investigation of the incomplete recovery of aquatic systems as drought and drying events are occurring more frequently and earlier in the season.

Samantha Skerlec (Primary Presenter/Author), University of Tennessee, smskerlec@gmail.com;

10:45 - 11:00 | Freedom Ballroom F | FISHES AND HISTORY: HOW SPATIAL AND TEMPORAL PATTERNS OF FISH DESCRIPTION TALK ABOUT OUR PAST (AND MAYBE ABOUT THE FUTURE)

6/03/2024  |   10:45 - 11:00   |  Freedom Ballroom F

FISHES AND HISTORY: HOW SPATIAL AND TEMPORAL PATTERNS OF FISH DESCRIPTION TALK ABOUT OUR PAST (AND MAYBE ABOUT THE FUTURE) Freshwater fishes represent the most diverse category of aquatic vertebrates, comprising over 18,000 species distributed across a vast array of habitats spanning all continents but Antarctica. Despite the description of more than 200 new species annually in recent decades, a considerable number of species remain undiscovered by the scientific community. Examining the historical trends in species descriptions can offer insights into identifying potentially under-explored regions warranting increased taxonomic exploration in the future. Additionally, to unveil historical patterns of scientific colonialism, we aim to scrutinize spatial incongruities between the locations where species were described and the respective institutions responsible, particularly in the most biodiverse regions of our planet. In this study, we compiled a comprehensive global dataset detailing freshwater fish species occurrences in major freshwater ecoregions worldwide, incorporating information on species description years and authors. Utilizing holotype data, we can establish a connection between fish species and the institutions responsible for their description. Preliminary findings indicate that historical patterns in fish descriptions are influenced by a combination of major global events, such as wars, coupled with local factors like scientific expeditions focused on specific regions. Notably, species in the most biodiverse countries were often described by foreign institutions in the past, though the extent to which this trend has reversed remains uncertain. Our study underscores the intersection of history and biology, illustrating how historical events have shaped our understanding of freshwater species. This intersection has resulted in knowledge biases and inequities, prompting a call for addressing these issues in the coming years.

Imanol Miqueleiz (Primary Presenter/Author), Cornell University, im298@cornell.edu;

Casey Dillman (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Cornell University, cbd63@cornell.edu;

Peter McIntyre (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Cornell University, pbm3@cornell.edu;

11:00 - 11:15 | Freedom Ballroom F | POPULATION GENETICS OF GENUS GYRODACTYLUS (MONOGENEA: GYRODACTYLIDAE), THEIR PREVALENCE AND EPIDEMIOLOGICAL IMPACT IN TILAPIA AQUACULTURE IN SOUTH AFRICA.

6/03/2024  |   11:00 - 11:15   |  Freedom Ballroom F

POPULATION GENETICS OF GENUS GYRODACTYLUS (MONOGENEA: GYRODACTYLIDAE), THEIR PREVALENCE AND EPIDEMIOLOGICAL IMPACT IN TILAPIA AQUACULTURE IN SOUTH AFRICA. This research seeks to advance knowledge of the population genetics of Gyrodactylus parasites (Monogenea: Gyrodactylidae) within Tilapia aquaculture in South Africa, with a specific focus on their prevalence and epidemiological impact. The study will involve sampling both wild and captive systems and characterizing the host fish as either pure or hybrid strains using molecular methods then observing the specimen for the presence of Gyrodactylus parasites. Samples will be caught across selected farms and wild drainage systems in the following provinces; Gauteng, Mpumalanga, North West, Limpopo, and Kwa-Zulu Natal. Specifically, the research endeavors to achieve the following objectives: to identify the diversity of Gyrodactylus parasites found in Oreochromis mossambicus, Oreochromis niloticus, and Coptodon rendalii through both morphological and molecular methods; to determine the geographical distribution of Gyrodactylus parasites across various captive systems and major natural drainage ecosystems in South Africa using appropriate markers; to investigate the prevalence and intensity of Gyrodactylus infections, with a particular focus on how these factors vary seasonally and with stocking density; and to explore differences in infections between adult and juvenile fish as well as to examine the structure of Gyrodactylus parasites in different fish populations, taking into consideration factors such as host specificity and host range that may influence this variation. The results of this research will offer insights into the major clusters of Gyrodactylids parasitizing both hybrid and pure strains of tilapia in South Africa and the degree of both morphological and molecular variation among the parasite specimens and their populations.

Julie Bwoga (Primary Presenter/Author), Rhodes University, juliebwoga@gmail.com;

11:15 - 11:30 | Freedom Ballroom F | INVASIVE CRAYFISH INDUCE POTENTIALLY HARMFUL BEHAVIORAL SHIFTS IN STREAM FISH

6/03/2024  |   11:15 - 11:30   |  Freedom Ballroom F

Invasive crayfish induce potentially harmful behavioral shifts in stream fish Riparian ecosystems are subjected to extreme stress factors in southern California. These conditions are brought forth by drought, fire, and invasive species. The invasive Red Swamp Crayfish (Procambarus clarkii, or RSC) is a recognized invasive predator that has caused aquatic species declines locally to amphibians and macroinvertebrates and may be responsible for reductions of the federally-endangered three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus williamsoni). In local riparian ecosystems, a population decrease of G. aculeatus has been observed, with P. clarkii presence being a potential cause. We conducted a behavioral experiment that quantified the interactions between a cousin fish, the partially armored stickleback (G. a. microcephalus, or PATS), and the RSC. To investigate the behaviors of PATS and assess the potential ramifications of crayfish on their behavior, we assessed fish behavior in the absence of crayfish within the mesocosm, on responses to chemical and visual cues of the crayfish, and between PTS and crayfish under ecologically realistic scenarios. Results indicate that in the presence of crayfish, the PATS are less likely to show schooling behavior and instead scatter across the mesocosm relative to the control group, suggesting that crayfish disrupt natural behavior. Ultimately, crayfish presence causes a change in the behavior of PATS, offering valuable insight into the relationship between the UTS and crayfish in their natural environments and further demonstrating how invasive species can impact native species.

Gary Bucciarelli (Primary Presenter/Author), University of California, Davis, garyb@ucdavis.edu;

Nolan Gentile (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Pepperdine University, nolan.gentile@pepperdine.edu;

Lucia Maldonado (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Pepperdine University, lucia.maldonado@pepperdine.edu;

Kyle Osornia (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Pepperdine University, kyle.osornia@pepperdine.edu;

Andrew Wang (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Pepperdine University, andrew.m.wang@pepperdine.edu;

Robert Fisher (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), USGS, rfisher@usgs.gov;

Lee Kats (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Pepperdine University, lee.kats@pepperdine.edu;

11:30 - 11:45 | Freedom Ballroom F | AN EDNA-BASED ASSESSMENT OF RARE TURTLE SPECIES

6/03/2024  |   11:30 - 11:45   |  Freedom Ballroom F

An eDNA-based assessment of rare turtle species As turtle populations decline worldwide, increased protections (e.g. United States Endangered Species Act) yield increased regulatory burdens. As a consequence, monitoring of imperiled turtle species is imperative to understand both their extant distributions, but also to ensure regulatory compliance. However, conventional methods for surveying turtles are frequently costly, time consuming, require taxonomic expertise, and unlikely to yield detections without repeated visits. In these instances, innovative technological advances may overcome these limitations, ultimately streamlining monitoring. Environmental DNA (eDNA) analyses are an emerging technology that has shown great promise in improving detection rates and occupancy estimation over conventional sampling, while increasing efficiencies in detecting turtle species. Here we propose a comprehensive eDNA-based assessment of Blanding’s turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) and wood turtle (Glyptemys insculpta) throughout Minnesota, where there is strong regulatory pressure to monitor these species effectively and efficiently. We developed, validated, and optimized novel quantitative PCR (qPCR) assays for each species to model occupancy and document ecological and biological correlates that may impact detection. Preliminary results from in situ testing are promising, as we have had positive detections from both assays throughout the state of Minnesota.

Maria Costantini (Primary Presenter/Author), Illinois Natural History Survey, mariacos@illinois.edu;

Eric Larson (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Illinois, erlarson@illinois.edu;

Aron Katz (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), US Army Engineer Research and Development Center , Aron.D.Katz@usace.army.mil;

Jinelle Sperry (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), US Army Engineer Research and Development Center , jinelle.sperry@usace.army.mil;

Mark Davis (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Illinois Natural History Survey, davis63@illinois.edu;

11:45 - 12:00 | Freedom Ballroom F | EFFECT OF NATURAL AND ARTEFICIAL BARRIERS ON LIFE HISTORY TRAITS OF VARICORHINUS BESO IN GILGEL ABAY RIVER AND ITS TRIBUTARIES

6/03/2024  |   11:45 - 12:00   |  Freedom Ballroom F

EFFECT OF NATURAL AND ARTEFICIAL BARRIERS ON LIFE HISTORY TRAITS OF Varicorhinus beso IN GILGEL ABAY RIVER AND ITS TRIBUTARIES Tropical fishes in particular are highly vulnerable to habitat degradation, with this group comprising over 31% of freshwater species listed as at risk of extinction by the IUCN. Fresh waters are the most threatened ecosystems in the world, with high species extinction rates resulting from human dependence on freshwater resources. Knowledge on biology of the Ethiopian ichthyofauna has been poorly known; a large number of small, medium and even large rivers have not been exhaustively explored including those explored in the present study. The present study will fill knowledge gaps on the effects of natural and artificial barriers on life history patterns of Varicorhinus beso in the Gilgel Abay River and its tributaries. From January 2024 to December 2025 the life history patterns of V. beso will be studied below and above the barriers. Study sites will be selected using purposive and systematic sampling methods. Four sampling sites along the Gilgel Abay River and two sampling sites in each tributary will be selected. This study is aimed at contributing to the management of the V. beso by providing information on Life history traits that are required for future monitoring and guidance on the conservation and management of the endangered V. beso fishes in the Gilgel Abay River and its tributaries. Fish samples will be collected in the four seasons of the year using a standard set of nets. The collected samples will be preserved in 5% formalin. The collected data will be analyzed by using appropriate statistical method.

Tariku Hailu (Primary Presenter/Author), Agree, tahailu21@gmail.com;