Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Environmental Studies

First Advisor's Name

Jennifer S. Rehage

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Mahadev G. Bhat

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Michael R. Heithaus

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Matthew V. Lauretta

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Keywords

Refuge, survival, drought, Mark-recapture, citizen science, MARK, Micropterus salmoides floridanus, Everglades

Date of Defense

3-26-2015

Abstract

In aquatic systems refuge habitats increase resistance to drying events and are necessary for maintaining populations in disturbed environments. However, reduced water availability and altered flow regimes threaten the existence and function of these habitats. To test refuge function I conducted a capture-mark-recapture (CMR) study, integrating citizen science angler sampling into fisheries-independent methods. The objectives of this study were twofold: 1) To determine the contribution of citizen science anglers to improving CMR research, and 2.) to quantify apparent survival of Florida Largemouth Bass, Micropterus salmoides floridanus, in a coastal refuge habitat across multiple years of drying severity. The inclusion of angler sampling was determined to be an effective and feasible method for increasing capture probability. Apparent survival of Florida Bass varied among hydrologic periods with lowest survival when marshes functionally dried (< 10 cm). Overall mortality from drying events increased with the duration of marsh drying upstream.

Identifier

FI15032145

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