Large river ecosystems

Faunas adapted to high flow regimes of large rivers are uncommon and best developed in the Yangtze, Colorado, lower Mississippi, and lower Congo rivers. A relatively small area of rapids in the latter region supports 22 endemic species of rapid specialist fish1).
The Mekong, Congo, Paranáand Amazon-Orinoco Rivers harbour the 4 great large tropical river fish faunas2). The waters of the Lower Mississippi River contain outstanding examples of large river fishes, amphibians, reptiles, and invertebrates, including glacial relicts and many endemics3).

In this habitat are the following ecoregions:

Afrotropical
(143) Congo River and Flooded Forests

Indo-Malayan
(144) Mekong River

Nearctic
(145) Colorado River
(146) Lower Mississippi River

Neotropical
(147) Amazon River and Flooded Forests
(148) Orinoco River and Flooded Forests

Palearctic
(149) Yangtze River and Lakes


1) Lowe-McConnell 1987
2) Mori 1936, Roberts 1975, Hocutt & Wiley 1986, Lowe-McConnell 1987, Kottelat & Whitten 1996
3) Abell et al. 2000

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required