I don't know the early history of the family, nor am I familiar with their
distribution mechanism in the Southeast. What I am familiar with is the
distribution mechanism into the St. Lawrence and Great Lakes watershed. Dr.
Smith gave a talk about this at the convention and Chris has written a bit
of this up in the latest AC. I'll give you local examples tho that will
really strike home for you.
It has everything to do with a big honkin' glacier and how the thing melted
Take a look at a map of your home area in Ohio. You have the Black, Rocky
and Cuyahoga all near by. They flow north currently into Lake Erie, right?
Well, Lake Erie wasn't always Lake Erie... It had a bunch of stages where
drainage was blocked to the east by ice. Some lake levels flowed out the
Mohawk River in New York as a primary drainage... One lake level flowed out
the Grand River in Michigan to one of Lake Michigan's predacessors (and I
think out the Calmuet then?). But there's a bunch of streams in this area
that also contributed.
Look at the Rocky and Cuyahoga headwaters. Purty darn close to the
Tuscawaras right? If you had all this meltwater to get rid of, and you had
a 50' tall piece of ice to the east not letting it go anywhere... How would
you get rid of it? Prolly dig a ditch between the these systems right?
Well that's kinda what Lakes Maumee and Warren did (known as "stream
capture"). And in doing so, they provided gateways into the Great Lakes for
fish in the Ohio and Mississippi drainages to get to some new territory.
Once the connections dried up, well wasn't that just prime for some
geographic speciation? :)
This went all the way around the Lakes as we know them today. The Maumee
was a primary outlet for awhile many times and was "captured" by the Wabash
River in Indiana, which is why there's the goofy route the St. Josephs River
in Western Ohio runs to Ft. Wayne only to head just as far north out the
This is also a great example system (Maumee and Wabash) for how quickly
species will move in. Plains species such as Orangespot Sunfish and
Suckermouth Minnows utilized the newly turbid Ohio and Indiana streams in
the Ohio River watershed due to the deforestation upon colonization in the
1800's. But they're in the Maumee and St. Joseph and up into Michigan too?
How'd they get there? The Erie-Miami Canal... Grand Lake St. Marys in West
Central Ohio was dug out as a reservoir for the Canal to connect the Great
Lakes to the Ohio River in the mid1800's. That's the first connection to
the Ohio drainage... To help with water levels, a second connection was made
to the Wabash to the west... And now they had a nice little highway up into
another newly turbid system where they'd have the upper hand in
adaptability. Eastern Michigan is just a hop skip and a jump away going
thru some wetland areas along Erie's western shore... And that's how they
Now... I'd be real privvy to hear the long distant history of this family.
How'd they get all over the Southeast? Were they around prior to the
Appalachian rise and just have had a really successful line of progeny?
Hopefully someone will answer cause I gotta know :)
----- Original Message -----
From: "John Bongiovanni" <bongi_at_cox-internet.com>
Sent: Thursday, March 06, 2003 12:01 AM
Subject: Re: NANFA-- Louisiana sinking and other thoughts
> It's fairly certain that sea levels have changed over time mostly due to
> fluctuations in polar ice. My question was based upon two assumptions.
> 1) that dramatic changes in sea level resulted in changes in salinity
> and 2) that teleosts radiated from FW to salt and back. That the
> fluctuations in sea level provided a vehicle for that radiation. My
> first assumption has pretty well been shot down. Ouch! But maybe not
> completely inacurate. The second one has a little more muster.
> I like to envision the events that causecontribute to disjunct
> distributions of fish like the distributions of The Mississippi Silvery
> Minnow and the segregations of the percina and etheostoma genera.
> Maybe changes in the salinity of the sea is more localized rather than
> globally. The MSSM, according to petersons has a distribution
> throughout the Mississippi valley and along the gulf coast drainages to
> the Brazos River. Then it jumps several hundred miles down to the Rio
> Grande. The two most likely events I can imagine that account for this
> distribution would be a temporary change in sea level that allowed
> migration of ancestral populations north or south as the case may be
> and/or reduced salinity in the Gulf due to heavy flooding. The flooding
> temporarily forced fresh water into the gulf thus allowing migration to
> other drainages. If a population gets a "finhold" in this new
> distribution the population could genetically isolate itself from the
> ancestral populations overtime with the help of random mutations and
> bottleneck events.
> The differences between the Percina and the Etheostoma appear pretty
> clearcut. Phylogenies nowadays can be generated fairly easily by the
> use of DNA analysis. Certain judgements must still be made in regards
> to the lumping or splitting arguements. What is less clear are the
> events that lead up to or contributed to establishment of the unique
> populations we call species. Were the progenetor etheostomas fish that
> found more succcess in the shallower portions of the water table? And
> those with smaller swim bladders more successful in this new niche?
> Did they crowd out other species because they could draw on their
> ability to frequent both the benthic portions of the stream as well as
> higher portions of the water column? As they crowded out, out competed
> the resident populations were they then able to specialize into the
> species we knwo today? How
> Of course, I keep coming back to the same question: how did we wind up
> with Darters in the St. Lawrence system as well as in the Trinity and
> Brazos sytems in Texas? There has to be a conduit that allowes the
> migration of the species to dramatically jump to different river
> drainages. Was the common ansestor of the Percina and Etheostoma
> brackish or salt adapted first and then radiated into the different
> Well, I guess if we could answer all those questions with certainty we
> would be writing books and not e-mail!
> Todd Crail wrote:
> >Thanks for piping in Luke. I think that's a valid point, and one that I
> >won't even touch as I'm not a palentologist, just a fully fledged
> >speculativist :) There's prolly a bunch of different ways to argue that
> >matter, all of which based on observable and "proofable" concepts... I
> >more of the point for our purposes is to discover how past melting of
> >caps etc had affects on salinity and the consequent movement of species
> >utilize the new situations.
> >That, and to give John something else to think about when he's wallowing
> >a muddy mess the next time ;)
> >So I hope I've not completely railroaded the conversation into the
> >"terminal" :)
> >----- Original Message -----
> >From: "Michael Canady" <canady1538_at_msn.com>
> >To: <nanfa_at_aquaria.net>
> >Sent: Wednesday, March 05, 2003 9:43 PM
> >Subject: Re: NANFA-- Louisiana sinking and other thoughts
> >>Just to let everyone know out there
> >>-the astroid theory is obsolete now according to my biology profesor at
> >>washington state university. Fossil evidence shows that the dinosaurs
> >>around a million years to die out, not days, or weeks, but lots of time,
> >>why did the astroid kill the dinosaurs, but not the early mammals of the
> >/"Unless stated otherwise, comments made on this list do not necessarily
> >/ reflect the beliefs or goals of the North American Native Fishes
> >/ Association"
> >/ This is the discussion list of the North American Native Fishes
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> >/ For more information about NANFA, visit our web page,
-- > /"Unless stated otherwise, comments made on this list do not necessarily > / reflect the beliefs or goals of the North American Native Fishes > / Association" > / This is the discussion list of the North American Native Fishes Association > / nanfa_at_aquaria.net. To subscribe, unsubscribe, or get help, send the word > / subscribe, unsubscribe, or help in the body (not subject) of an email to > / nanfa-request_at_aquaria.net. For a digest version, send the command to > / nanfa-digest-request_at_aquaria.net instead. > / For more information about NANFA, visit our web page, http://www.nanfa.org /----------------------------------------------------------------------------- /"Unless stated otherwise, comments made on this list do not necessarily / reflect the beliefs or goals of the North American Native Fishes / Association" / This is the discussion list of the North American Native Fishes Association / nanfa_at_aquaria.net. To subscribe, unsubscribe, or get help, send the word / subscribe, unsubscribe, or help in the body (not subject) of an email to / nanfa-request_at_aquaria.net. For a digest version, send the command to / nanfa-digest-request_at_aquaria.net instead. / For more information about NANFA, visit our web page, http://www.nanfa.org