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Long-term minnow community data from the Bayou Pierre, Mississippi


Stearman, Loren (2022), Long-term minnow community data from the Bayou Pierre, Mississippi, Dryad, Dataset,


Long-term community monitoring is becoming an important tool for ecological studies. Historical data are present in a variety of sources but often require considerable effort to extract, filter, and verify prior to analyses. In this dataset we document minnow (sensu lato, Cyprinidae + Leuciscidae) communities in the Bayou Pierre, Mississippi. We include filtered community data from twelve localities and three time periods (1974-75, 1985-89, 2019-20) derived from a mixture of literature, museum collections, and contemporary collecting efforts. All collections were made using comparable methodologies. We also include an additional 29 contemporary collections which do not have historical representation but which cover the majority of the watershed. We further include a trait database coded from literature values which captures both reproductive and ecological traits for the species in these data. These data were used in preparation of a manuscript examining long-term taxonomic, ecological, and functional change within the minnows in the Bayou Pierre, and they are part of a broader research effort to study the effects of fluvial geomorphic evolution on aquatic ecosystems.


Fish community data were collected by single-pass seining (3mm mesh) all available stream habitats in a 100-300m reach at 12 historic localities (sites 1 - 12 in these data) in 1974/75, 1985-89, and 2019-20. A further 29 sites were sampled using the same methodology in 2019-20 (sites 13-41 in these data). Historic samples were initially identified through queries of museum data at the University of Southern Mississippi and literature searches. For museum data, we examined field notes for evidence of fishes released in the field. We excluded museum samples which contained < 3 taxonomic families or < 6 species, or which made references to sampling methods other than seining. This filtering was conducted due to a known sampling effort occurring the 1980s and 1990s which used a different sampling methodology targeting the endemic Bayou Darter, and which were known to not be full community datasets (Ross et al., 2001a). Samples from 1974/1975 were collected as part of an MS thesis project (Matthews, 1978). Specimens for this effort were largely not deposited in museum samples, and only total sums of individuals by species and sample locality were reported. The fish data we deposit here has been similarly summed by species and locality within a time period to provide data comparability. The manuscript which utilizes these data focused on minnows (Cyprinidae + Leuciscidae), and this dataset has been filtered to those species.

Fish trait data were collected by queries of regional literature, particularly Ross et al. (2001b), Boschung and Mayden (2004), Frimpong and Angermeier (2009), Gidmark and Simmons (2014), and Robison and Buchanan (2020). Where species were deficient of data, we substituted data from the closest possible relative.



  • Matthews, William H. 1978. Fishes of Bayou Pierre, Southwest Mississippi. Master's Thesis, Northeast Louisiana University, Monroe, LA. 123pp.
  • Ross, S. T., M. T. O'Connell, D. M. Patrick, C. A. Latorre, W. T. Slack, J. G. Knight, and D. S. Wilkins. 2001. Stream erosion and densities of Etheostoma rubrum and associated riffle-inhabiting fishes: biotic stability in a variable habitat. Copeia, 4:916-927.
  • Ross, S. T., W. M. Brenneman, W. T. Slack, M. T. O'Connell, and T. L. Peterson. 2021. Inland Fishes of Mississippi. University of Mississippi Press, Jackson, MS. 624pp.
  • Boschung, H. T., and R. L. Mayden. 2004. Fishes of Alabama. Smithsonian Books, Washington, DC. 736pp.
  • Frimpong, E. A., and P. L. Angermeier. 2009. FishTraits: A database of ecological and life-history traits of freshwater fishes of the United States. Fisheries, 34:487-495.
  • Gidmark, N. J., and A. M. Simmons. 2014. Cyprinidae: Carps and Minnows. (in) eds. Warren, M. L., and B. M. Burr. Freshwater Fishes of North America, Petromyzontidae to Catostomidae. John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD. pp 354-450.
  • Robison, H. W., and T. M. Buchanan. 2020. Fishes of Arkansas. University of Arkansas Press, Fayetteville, AR. 959 pp.

Usage Notes

Site numbering is consistent in all sampling time periods (i.e., site 1 is the same locality in all three contemporary to recent data, and in the full contemporary data). Latitutes and longitudes for collection localities are given in the full contemporary data. Nearly all specimens from the 1985-89 and 2019-20 sampling efforts have been deposited at the University of Southern Mississippi's Ichthyological Collections (excluding individuals too large to fit into a field sample jar).

The twelve historic to contemporary sample localities represent sampling effort overlap in the three time periods. Both the original sources for the 1974-75 and 1985-89 data contain other records which did not meet our criteria, or which represented nonmatching site localities with one another.


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service