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The guild approach to categorizing estuarine fish assemblages: a global review

Elliott, M., Whitfield, A.K., Potter, I.C., Blaber, S.J.M., Cyrus, D.P., Nordlie, F.G. and Harrison, T.D. (2007) The guild approach to categorizing estuarine fish assemblages: a global review. Fish and Fisheries, 8 (3). pp. 241-268.

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Many studies have recently described and interpreted the community structure and function of fishes inhabiting estuaries and other transitional waters in terms of categories or guilds. The latter describe the main features of the fishes' biology and the way in which they use an estuary. However, the approach has been developed by different workers in different geographical areas and with differing emphasis such that there is now a need to review the guilds proposed and used worldwide. The previous wide use of the guild approach has involved increasing overlap and/or confusion between different studies, which therefore increases the need for standardization while at the same time providing the opportunity to reconsider the types and their use worldwide. Against a conceptual model of the importance of the main features of fish use in estuaries and other transitional waters, this review further develops the guild approach to community classification of fish communities inhabiting those areas. The approach increases the understanding of the use of estuaries by fishes, their interactions and connectivity with adjacent areas (the open sea, coastal zone and freshwater catchments) and the estuarine resources required by fishes. This paper gives a global perspective on this categorization by presenting new or refined definitions for the categories, lists the synonyms from the literature and illustrates the concepts using examples from geographical areas covering north and central America, north and southern Europe, central and southern Africa, Australia and the Indo-Pacific.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Inc.
Copyright: © 2007 The Authors.
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