Theses and Dissertations

Title: Habitat Model Transferability: Tests for the Blue Shiner (Cyprinella caerulea) (Jordan, 1877)

Name: Klyce, Katherine S.

Degree: MS

Chair: Carol Johnston


University: Auburn University

Location: Auburn, Alabama

Date: 2001

Pages: 89

Keywords: habitat modification,blue shiner,habitat model


Habitat utilization models are valuable tools for resource managers and are developed for individual species as a means of protecting biodiversity. Such models are often based on limited data, however, and may not accurately reflect the habitat used by a particular species. Another limitation of current habitat models is that models developed in one area may not reflect habitat utilization patterns in other areas. The objectives of this study were to incorporate additional data (e.g., seasonal, nocturnal, and foraging data) into the development of such models across sites for populations of blue shiners (Cyprinella caerulae) (Jordan, 1877) in the Coosa river system. Another objective was to assess transferability of these models to habitat in which the blue shiner has been extirpated (the Cahaba River system). The blue shiner was chosen because it is a habitat specialist and is of interest due to its imperiled status. Patterns of habitat use by blue shiners varied among sites, seasons, and activity (e.g., foraging and nocturnal use). Incorporation of these additional data into existing habitat models highlighted the need to examine all aspects of habitat use in order to adequately represent the particular requirements of the study species. Models developed in the Coosa river system transferred well to historic sites in the Cahaba river system, which may indicate that blue shiner populations died out for reasons other than those related to habitat alteration. Thus, additional causes of the extirpation of blue shiner populations should be investigated such as changes in water quality caused by pollution.

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