Date of Graduation

Spring 2010

Degree

Master of Natural and Applied Science in Biology

Department

Biology

Committee Chair

Daniel Beckman

Keywords

visible implant elastomer, mark-recapture, Etheostoma nianguae, Niangua darter, stream barriers

Subject Categories

Biology

Abstract

I evaluated the movement and distribution of the Niangua darter as it is related to changes in space and time. A goal of the study was to test three null hypotheses: Niangua darters are sedentary and do not move among the different habitat types; Niangua darters found in a tributary originated in that tributary not a larger body of water and vice versa; and movement rates, distances, and directions are independent of environmental conditions. I marked the Niangua darters dorsally with Visible Implant Elastomer (Northwest Marine Technologies). Each habitat had a different color/position code so that the marked darters could be distinguished by the habitat in which they originated. Resight surveys were performed approximately every other month using snorkeling methods to find marked darters. Marked and unmarked darters were mapped using a GPS and ArcMap. Data collected during the project were organized by resight survey and analyzed using correlation analysis and analysis of variance (ANOVA). Significant correlations were found between; i) surface area of each habitat and the average length of fish in that habitat; ii) movement rate and site; iii) habitat type and average length of fish; iv) population density and temperature; v) and density and number of fish resighted. Niangua darters were observed to move among habitat types, no movements were observed between larger streams and tributaries, and movement rates were affected by environmental conditions, primarily seasonal temperature change.

Copyright

© Cody Michael McCleary

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