Microhabitat use and movements of gilt darters (Percina evides) in two southeastern streams
Skyfield, Jessica Paige
MetadataShow full item record
The patterns of abundance and resource use for most stream fishes are largely unknown. Quantifying resource use of these organisms is a prerequisite for understanding a species’ ecology for theoretical and practical applications. I examined microhabitat use by gilt darters (Percina evides) in two Southeastern streams. I used Principal Component Analysis to examine patterns of use. Darters used microhabitats with higher percent cobble and average velocities than randomly available with male darters deviating from random more than females. In the size-based analyses, larger gilt darters tended to use microhabitats with more heterogeneous substrata and larger amounts of boulder than the smaller size classes. I also conducted a short-term movement study and population estimates. Darters did not seem to conform to the Restricted Movement Paradigm. Nonetheless, 40% of movements were within 5 meters of initial capture. The population density of 0.31 darters/m is a point estimate; nonetheless, it provides novel information.