Effects of within-patch habitat structure and variation on fish assemblage characteristics in the Bernecei stream, Hungary

T. Eros, G. D. Grossman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

21 Citations (Scopus)


Over a 3-year period we examined variability in physical habitat structure and species richness, abundance and assemblage composition of fishes in 13 habitat patches in the Bernecei stream, Hungary. Principal component analysis of habitat structure data from patches elucidated a riffle-run-pool habitat gradient across patches. Temporal habitat variability increased significantly from riffle to pool patches. Fish assemblage characteristics displayed relatively continuous change over the habitat gradient and were relatively stable within patches. Assemblage structure properties (e.g., species richness) displayed different responses to the habitat gradient and to within-patch habitat variability. In general, pool patches had more diverse assemblages and greater within-patch assemblage variability than riffle patches. However, within-patch dynamics were largely determined by the population dynamics of a habitat generalist (i.e., minnow). Broad scale environmental variability (i.e., a catastrophic 100-year flood) also appeared to affect within-patch fish assemblage characteristics. Our results demonstrate that fish assemblage structure is influenced by physical variability (i.e., both floods and spatiotemporal habitat variability) within the Bernecei stream.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)256-266
Number of pages11
JournalEcology of Freshwater Fish
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2005



  • Assemblage variability
  • Fish assemblages
  • Flood
  • Riffle/pool patches
  • Stream fishes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology

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