Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Science (MS)

Major/Program

Biology

First Advisor's Name

Joel Trexler

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Michael Heithaus

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Yannis Papastamatiou

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Keywords

animal movement, habitat use, everglades restoration, wetlands, fisheries, fish

Date of Defense

9-5-2018

Abstract

The Florida Everglades presents a model setting for studying animal-habitat relationships in a dynamic landscape that is heavily influenced by seasonal hydrology and water management. I used dynamic, high-resolution habitat classification maps and radio-telemetry to examine habitat preference of Largemouth Bass, Bowfin, and Florida Gar before and after a field-scale manipulation was established to address uncertainties with Everglades restoration and water management practices. Results indicate preference for the canal habitat by all three species, which represents only a small portion of the submerged landscape even in the driest conditions. Bowfin and Florida Gar were more likely to be relocated within marsh habitats than Largemouth Bass. Preference for the canal habitat increased after landscape alteration and was influenced by water management practices rather than hydrological or environmental factors. Partial canal backfilling may assist with accomplishing restoration goals while maintaining preferred habitat for economically and ecologically valuable predatory fishes.

Identifier

FIDC007033

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