AbstractsBiology & Animal Science

Assessing the Accuracy of Fish-Based Indicators of Biological Condition in Coastal Wetlands of the Great Lakes

by Jeffrey D. Buckley

Institution: University of Windsor
Department: Biological Sciences
Degree: MS
Year: 2015
Keywords: Biological Index; Fish; Great Lakes; ROC; Wetlands
Record ID: 2058182
Full text PDF: http://scholar.uwindsor.ca/etd/5250




Assessing the quality of biological communities is important in the management of Great Lakes Coastal Wetlands. Biological indicator models can be used to quantify the condition of biotic communities. A number of biological indicators have been developed for use with fish communities in Great Lakes Coastal wetlands. The overall goal of this thesis was to assess the performance of various biological indicators in their ability to identify degradation in wetland fish communities. Biological indicators were assessed with respect to the disturbance gradient against which they was originally derived. Subsequently, the models' utility as diagnostic tools was assessed for use in identifying sources of anthropogenic stress. Overall, the Cooper-IBIs and Wetland Fish Indices demonstrated the highest classification accuracy, although factors such as their relative sensitivity and specificity, and the purposes for which they were originally designed should be taken into account when applying each indicator.