The Cichlid Fishes of Lake Malawi, Africa

Abstract of Publication

Oliver, M.K., and K.R. McKaye. 1982. Floating islands: A means of fish dispersal in Lake Malawi, Africa. Copeia 1982 (4): 748-754.  

Floating masses of vegetation are commonly seen in the southern region of Lake Malawi. These floating islands disperse littoral fishes across deep portions of the lake. Six islands were sampled and all yielded fishes. The 129 individuals collected belong to ten species, including one mormyrid, one cyprinid, two clariids, one cyprinodontid, four cichlids and one mastacembelid. Most of the species are characteristic of lakeshore swamps and are not endemic to Lake Malawi. Dispersal by floating islands may increase gene flow between disjunct populations of widespread species, particularly those inhabiting swamps. Such dispersal, theoretically, could also serve to establish founder populations of geographically isolated species.




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