Title

The effects of hydroperiod on the life-history parameters of Lucania goodei (fundulidae) in the Florida Everglades

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Biology

First Advisor's Name

Joel C. Trexler

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Maureen Donnelly

Third Advisor's Name

William F. Loftus

Date of Defense

4-2-2004

Abstract

In aquatic ecosystems, hydrological fluctuation may generate a gradient of lifehistory responses associated with marsh drying. This study was conducted in the Florida Everglades to document spatial and temporal variability in growth and survivorship of the bluefin killifish (Lucania goodei) from six populations along a hydroperiod gradient. The otolith-microstructure analysis of field-collected fish was used to estimate growth rate and those data were combined with field-density estimates for survivorship analysis.

Otolith analysis revealed that L. goodei is extremely short-lived with no variation in growth rates and very little spatial or temporal variation in survivorship. These results suggest that bluefin killifish populations experience similar life histories across a diversity of hydroperiods either through well-mixed populations homogenizing these vital rates, or more likely, that a multitude of factors force L. goodei to respond to these "stressors" in a similar fashion across hydroperiod gradients.

Identifier

FI14050413

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