With more than 29,000 species, fishes are the most diverse group of vertebrates on the planet. Of that number, more than 12,000 species are found in freshwater ecosystems, which occupy less than 1 percent of the Earth's surface and contain only 2.4 percent of plant and animal species. But, on a hectare-for-hectare basis, freshwater ecosystems are richer in species than more extensive terrestrial and marine habitats. Examination of the distribution patterns of fishes in these fresh waters reveals much about continental movements and climate changes and has long been critical to biogeographical studies and research in ecology and evolution.
This reference book maps the 169 fish families that swim in fresh water around the world. Each family account includes the class, subclass, and order; a pronunciation guide to the family name; life cycle information; and interesting natural history facts. Each account is illustrated, many with historical nineteenth-century woodcuts.
Originally published in 2001, now available in paperback with a new preface.
Tim M. Berra is professor emeritus of evolution, ecology, and organismal biology at the Ohio State University Mansfield.
Freshwater Fish Distribution is a worthwhile reference. The book is clearly written and it fulfills the objectives stated by the author. - Noel M. Burkhead for JOURNAL OF THE NORTH AMERICAN BENTHOLOGICAL SOCIETY (January 2003) "...an excellent guide to the distribution of fishes in fresh waters...an informative text...highly recommended [for] all those interested in fish, including students and professionals." - Joseph S. Nelson, University of Alberta "...vast improvement...filled with just those nuggets of information that every professor will want to pass on to their student. ...reflect[s] the major changes in classification that have taken place over the last 20 years." --Bruce B. Collette, National Museum of Natural History "...of critical importance to anyone interested in fishes and biogeography." --Gene Helfman, University of Georgia