Some Essentials of Freshwater Fish Biogeography, Fish Life Histories, and the Place of Diadromy

  • R. M. McDowallEmail author
Part of the Fish & Fisheries Series book series (FIFI, volume 32)


The biogeography of freshwater fishes is profoundly affected by the way freshwater habitats are highly fragmented into what could be called elongate islands (rivers). About half the New Zealand freshwater fish species are diadromous, diadromy being a dominating influence on the distribution of the species. Recognition of this prevalence of diadromy has influenced attitudes towards the origins and distributions of the freshwater fish species. The ability of diadromous species to reach an isolated archipelago like New Zealand, and to facilitate dispersal of species through coastal seas around New Zealand, has shaped the composition and biogeography of the fauna. A few species are derived from sister taxa in the seas around New Zealand. Much of the local diversification has resulted from the loss of diadromous migrations and the evolution of species with narrow ranges, that are confined to New Zealand fresh waters.


Diadromy Dispersal Evolution Landlocking Marine derivations Speciation 


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© Springer Netherlands 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Institute of Water and Atmospheric ResearchChristchurchNew Zealand

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