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2012 Master's Level Graduate Research Conference

Session I - Session II - Session III - Session IV

Minnow Populations, Diversity, and Habitat Preferences in the West Branch of Sandy Creek, Monroe County, New York

This two year study investigates the possible correlations between habitat parameters and minnows (Family Cyprinidae) in the west branch of Sandy Creek, Monroe County, New York. Cyprinids are one of the largest (~2,100 species) and most wide spread fresh water fish families in the world, but much about their habitat requirements is unknown. GIS maps of stream bank conditions and land uses were created. Nine fish sampling sites were randomly chosen within each of three land use categories: urban, agricultural, and wooded, including three each of rifle, run, and pool stream habitats for a total of 27 fish sampling sites. All fish caught were identified and counted. Species counts and measured stream habitat data (stream width, depth, velocity, and percent aquatic vegetation, woody debris and substrate composition; physical and chemical conditions: temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, turbidity, nitrate and phosphate; and parameters within land use categories: percent canopy cover, width of riparian zone, riparian plant community, and percent soil organic matter) were entered into an Excel spreadsheet. General Linear Model ANOVA, Best Subsets Regression, and Stepwise Linear Regression are being used to explore associations between minnow species and habitat variables. Significant correlations will enable determination of essential habitat parameters for cyprinids living in the west branch of Sandy Creek and similar streams elsewhere.

Presenter: Coral Reina (State University of New York College at Brockport) --
Topic: Environmental Science - Panel
Location: 219 Hartwell
Time: 10:50 am (Session II)