Document Type

Master's Research

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Biology

Advisor(s)

Robert B. Gillespie

Date of Award

5-2012

Abstract

The relationship among shoreline development, fish and aquatic plant communities was assessed in five glacial lakes in Indiana. Contrary to results reported in previous studies, vegetation abundance was significantly higher at sites along developed shorelines than along undeveloped shorelines. Vegetation abundance differed significantly among lakes, but was better explained by Secchi depths than by shoreline development. There was no consistent relationship between shoreline development and species richness of fishes and vegetation. This study suggests that shoreline development alone may not adequately explain vegetation and fish species richness and abundance.

The usefulness of pop nets for sampling fishes and vegetation was assessed in the littoral zone of five glacial lakes in Indiana. Pop nets captured 11 species of fish not previously accounted for in surveys completed by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). Five of these fish species are considered intolerant by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and may be important for assessing the ecological integrity of lakes. Thirteen aquatic macrophyte species found in pop net samples were not previously accounted for in IDNR Tier II vegetation surveys, one of which is considered threatened in Indiana. Because of their ability to target littoral zone macrophytes and small-bodied littoral zone fish species pop nets may provide a supplemental tool to sample lakes more extensively than current practices.

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