Ecological correlates of fish reproductive activity in floodplain rivers: A life-history-based approach Academic Article uri icon


  • Reproductive activity of seven species representing three divergent life history strategies was monitored monthly for 2 years in channel and floodplain habitats of the Brazos River, Texas, USA, to evaluate associations between reproductive activity and biotic and abiotic factors predicted by conceptual models to influence reproduction. An information-theoretic approach was used to select best approximating models for each species, and model-averaged estimates of regression coefficients were calculated. Model selection indicated that monthly flow based on the 30-year hydrograph and temperature was strongly supported as factors associated with reproductive activity of all three life history strategies. The timing of reproduction in relation to the long-term hydrograph was related to life history traits. Reproductive activity of species with large adult size and high fecundity was greatest in spring just prior to increasing flows, whereas species with small adult size and extended breeding seasons exhibited greater activity in late spring and summer when mean flow was greatest. Nest-building species with parental care were more abundant in off-channel habitats where floods were less common. Instream flow management would benefit from consideration of flow and habitat requirements needed to support the diverse life history strategies displayed by fishes in riverfloodplain systems.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Zeug, S. C., & Winemiller, K. O.

citation count

  • 50

complete list of authors

  • Zeug, Steven C||Winemiller, Kirk O

publication date

  • October 2007