Data from: The cold-water connection: Bergmann's rule in North American freshwater fishes
Rypel, Andrew Lee (2013), Data from: The cold-water connection: Bergmann's rule in North American freshwater fishes, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.50720
Understanding general rules governing macroecological body size variations is one of the oldest pursuits in ecology. However, this science has been dominated by studies of terrestrial vertebrates, spurring debate over the validity of such rules in other taxonomic groups. Here, relationships between maximum body size and latitude, temperature and elevation were evaluated for 29 North American freshwater fish species. Bergmann's rule was observed in 38% of species, converse Bergmann's rule was observed in 34% of species, and 28% of species showed no macroecological body size relationships. Most notably, every species that expressed Bergmann's rule was a cool or coldwater species while every species that expressed converse Bergmann's rule was a warmwater species, highlighting how these patterns are likely connected to species thermal niches. This study contradicts previous research suggesting Bergmann's rule does not apply to freshwater fishes, and is congruent with an emerging paradigm of variable macroecological body size patterns in poikilotherms.