Comparative habitat use by grazing fishes in a Bornean stream

  • Andrew L. Sheldon


Habitat use by four grazing fishes in a rainforest stream was determined by direct observation (snorkeling) and microhabitat measurements for individual fish. Significant species heterogeneity (P < 0.004) occurred along two principal component gradients of velocity, depth and substrate and most pairwise species contrasts were significant. Abundant Paracrossochilus acerus (Cyprinidae) occupied the slower, deeper end of the gradient and Gastromyzon punctulatus (Balitoridae) the fast, shallow end with common G. cranbrooki and rare G. aeroides intermediate. However, overlap was substantial and as many as three species grazed on a single rock with no apparent interaction. All species were primarily day-active. Incomplete experiments suggest the fishes rapidly abandon rocks with reduced algal cover. Frequent spates with high discharge, turbidity and bedload movement disturbed the river. Disturbance, rather than biotic interactions, may be the dominant factor in the ecology of these fishes.


Niche partitioning Microhabitat Disturbance Gastromyzon Brunei Darussalam 



Research was conducted under permit UBD/KBFSC/R/2 at Kuala Belalong Field Studies Centre of Universiti Brunei Darussalam. I thank station director Dr. Kamariah Abu Salim. Station managers Md. Salleh Abd. Bat and Rodzay Abd. Wahab and staff Sucipto Wasid Alm, Razik Anak Sapoh and others made my introduction to the Bornean rainforest productive and enjoyable. Terima kasih! Ulmar Grafe was host, advisor and friend. Oliver Konopik provided photographs. Correspondence with S. Choy, A. Dykes, K. Martin-Smith and H. Tan was very helpful. Linda Sheldon, who missed the trip, provided insights and technical support during manuscript preparation.

Supplementary material

10641_2011_9849_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (902 kb)
ESM Fig. 1 (PDF 901 kb)
10641_2011_9849_MOESM2_ESM.doc (32 kb)
ESM Table 1 (DOC 32.5 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Biological SciencesUniversity of MontanaMissoulaUSA
  2. 2.CrawfordvilleUSA

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