Seasonal Fish Population Fluctuations In South Florida Swamp

We monitored fish populations in a southwest Florida cypress (Taxodium distichum) strand system through an annual wet season-dry season cycle. Populations increased from zero when the site was inundated to densities of 3-8 fish m2 and biomass of .3-.4 g/m2 in late wet season. Two months after drydown began, fish became concentrated. In wet prairie and "pond" cypress habitats concentration continued until the sites went dry, but "bald" cypress populations reached high densities early, then stabilized until just prior to complete drydown, when they decreased drastically. Wet season populations were probably controlled by hydrologic factors, but predation was important in determining dry season density, biomass, and species composition.

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