Factors Influencing Fish Assemblages and Species Richness in Subtropical Florida Lakes and a Comparison with Temperate Lakes

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From detailed analyses of 36 lakes, we determined that while species assemblages and richness change with lake size, trophic state, and pH, the responses were not as dramatic in Florida as in temperate lakes. At a given pH, there were more species in Florida lakes than in comparable lakes of the temperate zone. The impact of lake size on species richness was also less obvious in Florida lakes. The greater importance of centrarchids, increased contribution of the littoral zone to primary production, and lower dissolved aluminum levels may contribute to greater species richness in Florida lakes than in temperate lakes of comparable pH or size.

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Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, v. 47, issue 11, p. 2137-2146