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Introduction: Ecology and Conservation of the Threatened Blackside Dace, Chrosomus cumberlandensis
Hayden T. Mattingly

Southeastern Naturalist, Volume 12, Special Issue 4 (2013): 4–5

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H.T. Mattingly 2013 Southeastern Naturalist 4 Vol. 12, Special Issue 4 Introduction: Ecology and Conservation of the Threatened Blackside Dace, Chrosomus cumberlandensis Hayden T. Mattingly* I am pleased to introduce the articles assembled for this special issue on Chrosomus cumberlandensis (Starnes and Starnes) (Blackside Dace; Fig. 1). The articles are arranged thematically beginning with ecological studies, followed by studies of impacts and threats, then restoration and recovery, and finishing with geographic range extensions. Ecology. The first four articles advance our understanding of Blackside Dace ecology in areas of distribution, abundance, population status, habitat relationships, reproduction, nesting association, and movement patterns. Black, Detar, and Mattingly quantified population densities in a large number of streams by conducting mark-recapture studies to develop a linear regression model for *Department of Biology, Box 5063, Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, TN 38505; Ecology and Conservation of the Threatened Blackside Dace, Chrosomus cumberlandensis 2013 Southeastern Naturalist 12(Special Issue 4):4–5 Figure 1. Chrosomus cumberlandensis (Blackside Dace) adult, photographed by Gregory P. Shaffer at Rock Creek, a tributary of Jellico Creek in southeastern McCreary County, KY. 5 H.T. Mattingly 2013 Southeastern Naturalist Vol. 12, Special Issue 4 estimating population size based on single-pass backpack-electrofishing catch rates. Black, Jones, and Mattingly measured stream habitat variables to identify variables associated with Blackside Dace presence at the stream and reach spatial scales. They developed logistic regression models and validated them with new data at both scales. Mattingly and Black documented fish species with which Blackside Dace are most likely to associate during reproduction, and they quantified microhabitat conditions where reproductive events occur. In addition, they measured substrate and water quality conditions at sites with and without active logging disturbance. Finally, Detar and Mattingly tracked movement patterns of marked individuals in two watersheds over an annual cycle. Impacts and Threats. The next set of articles address impacts of selected human and Beaver activities on Blackside Dace populations in three different watersheds. Eisenhour and Floyd described an example of a perched road culvert serving as a barrier to fish passage, and they documented its detrimental effects on Blackside Dace and other species. Papoulias and Velasco described water quality changes and fish tissue damage caused by release of hydraulic fracking fluids into a stream occupied by Blackside Dace. Finally, Compton, Floyd, and Stephens monitored the fish community in a stream for two decades to document changes caused by Beaver colonization. Restoration and Recovery. The following three articles in this special issue describe collaborative efforts to restore and recover Blackside Dace populations. Floyd and co-authors documented fish-community changes as part of the first large-scale restoration project undertaken for a Blackside Dace stream. McAbee and co-authors combined knowledge of Blackside Dace ecology and threats with expert opinion to provide a framework to enhance recovery management of the species. In their work, sensitivity and scenario-building analyses identified factors most responsible for predictions of population persistence. Rakes and coauthors complete this section with refined techniques for propagating Blackside Dace in captivity, sharing insights regarding dace reproductive behavior. Range Extensions. The volume finishes with two articles that revise the geographic boundaries of the species’ known distribution. Bivens and co-authors reported newly discovered populations in the Big South Fork drainage, representing a downstream range extension in the Cumberland River system, while Skelton documented populations in the upper Tennessee River, expanding the species’ known range to an entirely new river drainage and new state, Virginia. In the volume’s concluding essay, Mattingly and Floyd provide summary remarks and highlight areas for future research and recovery efforts. I hope this collection of articles informs and inspires the reader as much as I have been inspired by working with the authors, editors, sponsors, and others to create this special issue devoted to Blackside Dace conservation.