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Abstract

Tropical Asian rivers support a rich but incompletely known biota, including a host of fishes, a diverse array of benthic invertebrates, and an assemblage of mammals adapted to riverine wetlands. River ecology is dominated by flow seasonality imposed by monsoonal rains with profound consequences for fishes and zoobenthos. Information on life histories, feeding, and the trophic base of production of these animals is summarized. Widespread use of allochthonous foods by fishes and zoobenthos is apparent. Migration by fishes is often associated with breeding and results in seasonal occupation of different habitats. Riverine biodiversity is threatened by habitat degradation (pollution, deforestation of drainage basins), dams and flow regulation, as well as over-harvesting. Conservation efforts in tropical Asia are constrained by a variety of factors, including lack of ecological information, but the extent of public awareness and political commitment to environmental protection are likely determinants of the future of riverine biodiversity.

Keyword(s): benthosdamsfishesfreshwaterpollution
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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev.ecolsys.31.1.239
2000-11-01
2024-06-23
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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev.ecolsys.31.1.239
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  • Article Type: Review Article
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