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Tuesday, January 30 • 8:00am - 8:20am
RIVERS & OXBOWS: Influential Macrhybopsis spp. Life History Traits in Modeled Lower Missouri River Populations

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AUTHORS. Janice L. Albers, Mark L. Wildhaber, Nicholas S. Green - US Geological Survey

ABSTRACT. Negative effects of river fragmentation have been noted for Macrhybopsis spp. in the Missouri River watershed; specifically three species of chubs that inhabit the Lower Missouri River: Shoal Chub M. hyostoma, Sicklefin Chub M. meeki, and Sturgeon Chub M. gelida. Increasing threats from predation and habitat loss and a recent increase in our understanding of reproductive life history have prompted the development of population models and a population viability analysis for each of these benthic chub species. For each species, we developed an age-structured population matrix model with hierarchical stochasticity, which partitions the total variance for a parameter into sampling and temporal components and applies them at the appropriate levels in the model. Here parameter or sampling variance is the uncertainty about the value of a parameter itself applied at the replicate level, and temporal variance is the uncertainty caused by environmental fluctuations over time applied at each yearly time-step. Under the current state of knowledge about their life history characteristics, we found populations of all three chub species were most sensitive to individual growth. However, current survival rates have large temporal variance; consequently, more research into the accuracy and factors that influence survival rates is needed. In addition, an increased understanding of how the environment influences fish growth and seasonal spawn frequency are needed in order to better understand chub population dynamics in the Lower Missouri River.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 8:00am - 8:20am CST