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Wednesday, January 31 • 10:20am - 10:40am
FISH HABITAT & GENETICS: Genetic Analysis of Topeka Shiner Utilization of Oxbows in Iowa and Minnesota

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AUTHORS. Alexander P. Bybel, Nicholas T. Simpson - Iowa State University, Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management; Clay L. Pierce, U.S. Geological Survey, Iowa Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Iowa State University; Michael J. Weber, Kevin J. Roe - Iowa State University, Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management

ABSTRACT. The Topeka shiner Notropis topeka is a federally endangered species that has experienced drastic declines in distribution and abundance as a result of land use changes. One major factor is stream channelization, which caused a reduction in off-channel habitats such as oxbows that are important habitat for these fish. US Fish and Wildlife has restored over 70 oxbows in Iowa since 2002 and over 60 in Minnesota since 2015 to improve habitat for Topeka shiners and other species. Recent studies indicate that restored oxbows contain a higher average number of Topeka shiners than unrestored oxbows and streams indicating potential restoration success. This study uses genetic analysis of Topeka shiner populations in Iowa and Minnesota to further understand how these fish utilize oxbows and evaluate restoration effectiveness.  By analyzing genetic variation of 10 polymorphic microsatellite loci, restored oxbows were compared to other off-channel sites and stream populations. Oxbows that have higher genetic diversity could indicate healthier populations, while lower diversity could indicate isolation. Genetic distance was also calculated to show how connected these oxbows are to each other, with the aim of providing information on the connectivity of Topeka shiner populations to improve future restoration efforts.

Wednesday January 31, 2018 10:20am - 10:40am CST
103A