Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Arkansas
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Arkansas Project

Effects of flow regime and habitat on fish assemblage structure

August 2018 - December 2021


Participating Agencies

  • University of Arkansas
  • Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

An important question in conservation ecology is how fishes of conservation concern use habitats and persist in their environment. We examined this question in streams with two distinct flow regimes in the Ozark Highlands of Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Groundwater Flashy (GF) and Runoff Flashy (RF) streams were sampled for fish and crayfish to assess the potential of refuge habitats in these streams facilitating colonization and extinction dynamics during drought, and whether that differed between flow regimes. We intend to incorporate use of refuge habitats during drought to assess the potential of refugia as a driver of metapopulation dynamics. This research will be useful for managers to assess which habitats and flow regimes should receive conservation attention.