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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Development and application of models predicting young of the year muskellunge presence and abundance from nursery features
by Woodside, Katie L., M.S., State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, 2009, 111; 1464167
Abstract (Summary)

Statistical models relating the presence and abundance of young of the year (YOY) muskellunge to nursery features in the upper St. Lawrence River were developed to identify potential nursery habitat for its protection and to help guide future restoration efforts. Nursery features included metrics describing submerged aquatic vegetation, water depth, and composition of the fish community. The best mid and late summer models were selected using Akaike’s Information Criterion (AICc). Fine-leafed and broad-leafed vegetation were important variables predicting muskellunge presence and abundance. Competitors (other esocids and bass) played a variable role and yellow perch a negative role in predicting YOY muskellunge. Recent declines of YOY muskellunge may be attributed to the introduction of round goby in nursery habitats or recent mortality of spawning adults. Prediction of muskellunge presence and abundance by all models was poor. Power analysis suggests the number of vegetation quadrats sampled per seine haul should be increased.

Keywords: AIC; aquatic vegetation; model selection; model evaluation; muskellunge; St. Lawrence River, young of the year.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Farrell, John M.
Commitee: Brunner, Jesse, Frair, Jacqueline L., Schulz, Kimberly L.
School: State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry
Department: Environmental & Forest Biology
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: MAI 47/05M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Biostatistics, Ecology
Keywords: Aquatic vegetation, Muskellunge, St. Lawrence River
Publication Number: 1464167
ISBN: 978-1-109-13456-8
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