Freshwater wetlands are some of the most imperiled ecosystems on the planet, meaning species that depend on them are at great risk. Master’s Thesis, University of Missouri, Columbia

Date Published: 

Sunday, January 1, 2017


Paper Summary/Abstract: 

This study evaluated the efficiency of four different gear types that managers could use to document the aquatic community of fish and amphibians that use managed wetlands as a means to inform decisions.
Fish and amphibians are ideal taxa to monitor in wetlands because they are sensitive to the environment, so species presence and the general health of the population can be a direct reflection of wetland health and function. Development of efficient sampling procedures is essential for detecting fish and amphibian species using restored wetlands to investigate the distribution and richness of fish and amphibians. Investigating fish and amphibian species will give insight into the conditions present in Missouri wetlands to help managers determine if management objectives are being met. The objectives of this study were to 1) investigate how sampling method and wetland habitat characteristics influence measures of species richness, 2) determine the sampling effort needed to detect wetland species, and 3) investigate the influence of wetland hydrology, within wetland conditions, and upland habitat on species richness and distribution. We evaluated four sampling methods in 29 wetlands across three regions in the state of Missouri during spring and summer, 2015- 1016. In general, 6-7 samples with a mini-fyke net detected the majority of fish and amphibian species in a wetland. In addition to spatial and temporal variables, wetland hydrologic connectivity and managed water source were the main factors structuring the distribution and richness of fish and amphibian wetland taxa. This study enhances our understanding of factors influencing fish and amphibian use of restored wetlands and provides conservation practitioners with information to help select the most efficient and effective fish and amphibian sampling methods to meet monitoring objectives.

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