Biology 682: Fish Ecology (Fall 2005)


Dr. Keith Gido

208 Bushnell Hall

532-5088 (office); 532-6616 (lab)


web page: K-state online

Office hours: By appointment

Graduate Assistant: Katie Bertrand (

Lecture: Monday and Wednesday 11:30 - 12:20 am, AK 116

Lab: Monday 2:30 - 5:20 pm, AK 112




Lecture: Fish ecology is the general study of factors influencing the distribution and abundance of fishes and how they interact with their environment.  We will begin this course with an overview of patterns of fish diversity and how fishes interact with their environments over both evolutionary and current time scales.  Next, we will examine the biotic interactions among fishes; including competition and predator-prey dynamics.  Finally, we will explore the important rolls that fishes play in aquatic ecosystems.  Throughout the course we will emphasize the conservation and management implications of fish ecology.


Academic Misconduct


I fully expect you to follow the KSU Honor System.  See the following web page for details:

Grading (500 total points)

Exams (300 Points) - There will be two exams during the semester (100 points each) and a final (100 points).

Independent project (150 points) - Each student will be responsible for conducting an independent research project.  The basic components of the project will include: 1) research question, 2) literature review (minimum of 10 peer-reviewed references), 3) data collection, 4) data analysis, and 5) written report.  The hardest part of this exercise will be to develop a good question that can be adequately evaluated in one semester.  Questions must be approved by Dr. Gido before they are due on Sept. 7th.   The final paper will consist of three parts: 1) an outline and graphs, 2) first draft, and 3) final draft.  The format of your paper should follow the AFS guidelines (see link below).  I also have a link to writing tips.  Be sure to use both of these as guidelines, as you will be penalized for not following these instructions.  Please ask if you need clarification on any of these instructions. 

Free writing tips!!!!!
AFS guidelines for authors


Paper discussions and participation (50 points) - We will spend four class periods discussing journal articles that have significantly advanced the science of Fish Ecology.  Assigned papers are listed on the syllabus.  It is the responsibility of the student to get a copy of the article, although many of these articles will be made available online as pdf files. For discussion groups, each student is required to come to class with a copy of the paper and two written questions (to be turned in). Each question will be written on the board and randomly selected students will lead the discussion. Forty points will be reserved to evaluate your participation in these discussions.  If you don’t participate in the discussion, you will not get any points!

Lab(200 points)




Matthews, W. J.  1998.  Patterns in Freshwater Fish Ecology.  Chapman and Hall, New York.


Tentative Schedule




Aug 22

Introduction, patterns of diversity

Pp. 1 – 14

Aug 24

Environmental filters concept

pp. 15 – 19; 30 - 45

Aug 29

Zoogeography of fishes

pp. 191–194; 197 – 206; 227-235; 241-249

Aug 31

Effects of physical environment on fish assemblages;

pp. 264-289

Sept 5

Labor Day


Sept 7

Zonation of fishes in Lakes and Streams Research question and literature review due (25 points)

pp. 290 - 314

Sept 12

Open: work on research project


Sept 14

Open: work on research project


Sept 19

Paper discussion (Poff and Allan 1995)


Sept 21

Disturbance (Floods and Drought); Physicochemical Stress

pp. 318 – 349;  pp. 353 – 374

Sept 26

Exam I (100 points);  Last day to drop without a W


Sept 28

Reproductive ecology

pp. 419 – 445

Oct 3

Student Holiday


Oct 5


pp. 380 – 418

Oct 10

Feeding ecology (Foraging theory)


Oct 12

Interspecific competition

pp. 455 – 496

Oct 17

Intraspecific competition

pp. 497 – 512

Oct 19

Paper discussion (Werner and Hall 1976)


Oct 24


pp. 532 – 563

Oct 26

Predation; Outline of research paper, with graphs due (25 points)


Oct 31

Paper discussion (Lobon-Cervia and Rincon 2004)


Nov 2



Nov 7

Exam II (100 points)


Nov 9

Trophic cascades

pp. 54 - 84

Nov 14

Direct ecosystem effects of fishes

pp. 565 -593

Nov 16

Direct ecosystem effects of fishes; First draft of research paper due (50 points)


Nov 21

Indirect effects of fishes (trophic cascades)

pp. 594 - 611

Nov 23

Student Holiday


Nov 28

Bioenergetics; Paper discussion (Flecker and Taylor 2004)


Nov 30

Population ecology of fishes


Dec 5

Conservation biology; Final draft of research paper due (50 points)


Dec 7



Dec 14

Final exam (100 points); 11:50am – 1:40 pm




Flecker A.S. and B.W. Taylor. 2004.  Tropical fishes as biological bulldozers: density effects on resource heterogeneity and species diversity. Ecology 85:2267-2278.


Poff, N.L. and J.D. Allan. 1995.  Functional organization of stream fish assemblages in relation to hydrological variability. Ecology 76:606-627.


Lobon-Cervia J. and P.A Rincon. 2004.  Environmental determinants of recruitment and their influence on the population dynamics of stream-living brown trout Salmo trutta.  Oikos 105:641-646.


Werner, E. E. and D. J. Hall.  1976.  Niche shifts in sunfishes: experimental evidence and significance. Science 191:404-406.