A review of estuarine ichthyology in South Africa over the past 50 years

Whitfield, A.K. (1996) A review of estuarine ichthyology in South Africa over the past 50 years. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa, 51 (Special Issue). pp. 79-89. ISSN 0035-919X




Progress in South African estuarine ichthyology between 1946 and 1995 is reviewed. The early estuary surveys of the 1950s and 1960s resulted in the compilation of species lists for individual systems, but contained very little biological or ecological information on fishes. These surveys were superseded by both autecological and synecological studies in the 1970s and 1980s, which yielded descriptive and process-orientated information on a wide variety of species. Estuarine research during the 1990s has focused increasingly at the community level, with several review papers on the life-history styles of groups of estuarine-associated fishes being published. The last decade has also seen the departure of a number of senior estuarine ichthyologists from the field. This decline in available expertise has coincided with increased demand for ichthyological information to be used in decision support systems for the wise management and conservation of estuaries. It is suggested that these demands be seen as a challenge, with studies being directed towards providing the type of information needed for the maintenance of vital ecological processes within these systems.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Lake St-Lucia; juvenile marine fishes; Ambassidae Cuvier Teleostei; Bot River Estuary; feeding ecology; Swartkops Estuary; Piscivorous birds; Natal estuaries; seasonal abundance; Mullet Teleostei; oceans; JLB Smith Institute of Ichthyology; Ichthyology; Grahamstown; Estuarine Ichthyology; estuary surveys; anglers; fish community studies
Subjects:Y Unknown > Subjects to be assigned
Divisions:Research Institutes and Units > South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB)
ID Code:545
Deposited On:01 Feb 2009
Last Modified:06 Jan 2012 16:18
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