FISH COMMUNITY STRUCTURE, SUBSTRATE PARTICLE SIZE, AND PHYSICAL HABITAT: AN ANALYSIS OF REFERENCE STREAMS IN THE WESTERN ALLEGHENY PLATEAU ECOREGION OF SOUTHEAST OHIO
Correlations between fish community structure, substrate particle size distributions, and physical habitat quality were investigated in wadeable and headwater reference streams within the Western Allegheny Plateau ecoregion (WAP) of southeast Ohio. An historic dataset was also utilized to determine fish-habitat correlations, as well as habitat and fish community stability. The reference sites were found to display considerable fish community persistence and physical habitat stability over time. In the absence of sediment impairments, the fish communities showed minimal correlations with substrate variables at headwater and wadeable sites. An overall lack of correlations between fish and physical habitat data were displayed at wadeable sites, while several fish variables were correlated with drainage area and pool quality at headwater sites. These results suggest that fish communities at wadeable sites might be shaped by other factors, such as biotic interactions, and that the main factor influencing headwater communities may be water and/or habitat availability.
School Location:USA - Ohio
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:reference sites stream substrates fish community structure physical habitat guilds correlations ibi qhei index metrics
Date of Publication:01/01/2006