Master of Science (MS)
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animal movement, habitat use, everglades restoration, wetlands, fisheries, fish
Date of Defense
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.
Ontkos, Alex T., "Habitat Use of Three Abundant Predatory Fish Species in the Freshwater Marshes of the Florida Everglades" (2018). FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 3873.
Available for download on Friday, November 27, 2020
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