Theses and Dissertations


Title: INFLUENCE OF SPATIAL. TEMPORAL AND ABIOTIC FACTORS ON DETECTION PROBABILITIES FOR FISHES IN THE MOBILE RlVER DRAINAGE, ALABAMA

Name: Hayer, Cari-Ann

Degree: MS

Chair: Elise R. Irwin

Resides: FAA Library

University: Auburn University

Location: Auburn, Alabama

Date: 2005

Pages: 129

Keywords: mobile river drainage, fish communities, species, temporal and spatial gradient

Abstract:

The Mobile River Basin spans broad ranges of physiographic settings and harbors exceptionally high levels of species richness and endemism. This provides ideal opportunities for testing and refining approaches to predict species occurrences and community attributes in relation to physical variables. We examined variation in detection probabilities for 87 piedmont and coastal plain fishes in relation to both a temporal and spatial gradient as well as an anthropogenic impact (i.e.. instream gravel mining). The specific objectives were to calculate detection probabilities for fishes and examine effects of additional abiotic and biotic factors. Additionally, sample gear and effort were examined to determine associated effects on detection probabilities. Mobile River basin using barge electrofishing and three times in fall 2003 using prepositioned area electrofishing. Five specific habitat types were sampled and included shallow-slow, shallow-fast, deep-fast, shallow-coarse. shallow-cover habitats. Detection probabilities were estimated for each species based on presence/absence data using the patch occupancy model in Program MARK.

Results indicated that detection probabilities for most species were heterogeneous and were affected by habitat. stream, and time of year. Results also indicated that anthropogenic impacts can affect detection probabilities for fishes and impacts should be considered when developing monitoring programs or routine sampling protocols. Additionally, sample gear and time of day sampled created variation in detection probabilities. As a result of the variability in detection probabilities we recommend incorporating detection probabilities when conducting population assessments, especially for such diverse fauna as those found in Alabama.

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