by Stuart A. Welsh
Ohio University Press, 2023
eISBN: 978-0-8214-2611-1 | Paper: 978-0-8214-2610-4
Library of Congress Classification QL628.A5
Dewey Decimal Classification 597.0974

A collection of essays on nature, naturalists, and the natural history of fishes in central Appalachia. A nature lover’s paradise, central Appalachia supports a diversity of life in an extensive network of waterways and is home to a dazzling array of fish species. This book focuses not only on the fishes of central Appalachia but also on the fascinating things these fishes do in their natural habitats. An ecological dance unfolds from a species and population perspective, although the influence of the community and the ecosystem also figures in the text. Stuart A. Welsh’s essays link central Appalachian fishes with the complexities of competition and predation, species conservation, parasitic infections, climate change, public attitudes, reproductive and foraging ecology, unique morphology, habitat use, and nonnative species. The book addresses a selection of the families of central Appalachian fishes, including lampreys, gars, freshwater eels, pikes, minnows, suckers, catfishes, trouts, trout-perches, sculpins, sunfishes, and perches. These essays often refer to the works of naturalists who contributed to our knowledge of nature during previous centuries and who recorded their discoveries when science writing was less concise than it is today. Although many of these works are nearly forgotten, these early naturalists built a strong knowledge base that supports much of our current science and thus merits reexamination. Most people are not scientists, but many have an interest in nature and are, in their own way, naturalists. This book is for those people willing to peer beneath the water’s surface.

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