Title

Life history traits of the Tennessee Dace (Phoxinus Tennesseensis) in Northeast Tennessee

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-1-2008

Description

We examined life history traits of Phoxinus tennesseensis (Tennessee dace), a globally vulnerable (G3) upper Tennessee River drainage endemic, in 2 populations in Northeast Tennessee. The spawning season lasted from Apr. to Jun. Spawning occurred over the nests of Semotilus atromaculatus (creek chub) and Campostoma anomalum (central stoneroller), where large spawning aggregations of dace gathered over host species nests. Phoxinus tennesseensis populations have 4 size classes that are indicators of age classes. The mean life span of P. tennesseensis is about 2 y with 1st y fish constituting a majority of the population. Fecundity samples indicate that females produce 398 to 721 ova that were 0.9 to 1.5 mm in diameter. Phoxinus tennesseensis has the lowest fecundity when compared to closely related congeners and inhabits the smallest headwater streams that frequently experience reduced or no-flow conditions. These characteristics probably contribute to its very limited distribution and small population sizes, and make the few remaining populations very vulnerable to environmental disturbances.

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