Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2012IN341B

Niche breadth variation of fish assemblages for the entire Wabash River

Institute: Indiana
Year Established: 2012 Start Date: 2012-03-01 End Date: 2014-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $30,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $61,678

Principal Investigators: Mark Pyron

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.