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Wednesday, January 31 • 8:20am - 8:40am
FISH HABITAT & GENETICS: A Comparative Analysis of Small Tributaries of Green Bay, Wisconsin: The Intersection of Water Quality, Biotic Communities, and Stream Metabolism

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AUTHORS. Amelia McReynolds, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay; Patrick Forsythe, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay; Gary Lamberti, University of Notre Dame; Tammie Paoli, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Robert Howe, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

ABSTRACT. Small tributaries are major links between terrestrial areas and near-shore habitats, yet few studies have explored the detailed ecology of sets of these lower-order streams. Heterogeneity in catchment land use is reflected across Green Bay tributaries and their diverse fish communities, including over 50 resident and migratory species. This study builds on broad-scale fish distributions by incorporating detailed analyses of abiotic factors and biotic communities in six tributaries. Patterns in water quality, in-stream habitat, catchment land use and hydrologic regime were used to characterize each stream. By quantifying gross primary production and community respiration in situ, stream metabolism served as a functional measurement of ecosystem health closely tied to stream conditions at a fine temporal and spatial scale. Stream metabolism rates were compared between two stream reaches in forested and agricultural catchments. Additionally, an assessment of fish and aquatic macroinvertebrates described variation in community structure and ecological traits. Improved understanding of the drivers of biotic assemblages in these unique ecosystems will aid in prioritization of stream conservation and restoration efforts.

Wednesday January 31, 2018 8:20am - 8:40am CST