State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2012IN341B
Title: Niche breadth variation of fish assemblages for the entire Wabash River
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2012
End Date: 2/28/2013
Congressional District: IN-006
Focus Categories: Ecology, Geomorphological Processes, Hydrogeochemistry
Keywords: Fish assemblages, geomorphology, hydrology, substrates, niche breadth
Principal Investigator: Pyron, Mark (Ball State University)
Federal Funds: $ 15,000
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 30,839
Abstract: . Understanding the species- and assemblage-habitat relationships of large river fishes has been historically limited by the large size and spatial complexity of river ecosystems. I have successfully used a Geographic Information System (GIS) database constructed with spatially explicit physical data as well as information on occurrences of individual taxa to detect habitat use patterns for complete fish assemblages at smaller scales. This proposal describes a study to test for fish assemblage variation in the Wabash River from the upper reaches to the confluence with the Ohio River. Niche breadth and niche position are calculated using environmental variables (bathymetry, riverbed sediment composition, woody debris presence, and flow velocity) assembled in a spatially explicit GIS framework. I will use three resolutions to identify variation in niche breadth at different scales for all taxa.

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