Thesis Title

Habitat Analysis of the Ozark Hellbender, Cryptobranchus Alleganiensis Bishopi, in Missouri

Date of Graduation

Summer 1995

Degree

Master of Science in Biology

Department

Biology

Committee Chair

Robert Wilkinson

Subject Categories

Biology

Abstract

The habitat of the Ozark hellbender, Cryptobranchus alleganiensis bishopi, was investigated in the Northfork of the White River, Ozark County, Missouri. Microhabitat variables of water depth, current velocity, substrate, and embeddedness were measured for 259 hellbenders. A principal component analysis demonstrated all microhabitat variables were important to hellbenders. Sites with hellbender populations had available cover rocks at significantly greater depths, larger substrates and less embeddedness. Sites with hellbender populations also had significantly more cover rocks and available microhabitat. There was a high correlation between hellbender abundance and available microhabitat, suggesting habitat limits population size. Hellbenders selected cover rocks within sites at significantly greater water depths, faster current velocity, and lower embeddedness.

Copyright

© Timothy Matthew Fobes

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