Aquatic vertebrates are essential components of freshwater and marine ecosystems, often occupying higher trophic/food web levels with wider ecological influence. As relatively sizeableand abundant elements of aquatic ecosystems, these organisms are also central to the ecosystem goods and services provided. Besides fishes, the most speciose extant vertebrate group, the remaining four vertebrate classes all include aquatic lineages. This module offers a firm foundation in the global diversity of aquatic vertebrates in the context of their biology, ecology, and conservation. Emphasis on Southeast Asian aquatic vertebrate biota provides a framework that informs management of regional imperilled freshwater and marine ecosystems.
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