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Scholars Day: April 11, 2012

Assessing Lake Ontario Coastal Wetlands: A Comparison of Two Methods Using Fish Community Assemblages

The importance of monitoring Great Lakes ecosystems and assessing their health has grown during the past half-century. Of these ecosystems, coastal wetlands are among the most vulnerable to habitat degradation and, therefore, serve as indicators of the harmful effects of human activity. Recent research has shown that the health of coastal wetlands can be evaluated based on the composition of higher trophic level community assemblages because they integrate negative effects to the food chains that support them. For the researcher's thesis study fish, aquatic invertebrate, and submergent and emergent aquatic vegetation data will be collected from 20-40 coastal wetlands along the Lake Ontario shoreline. Then two indices of coastal wetland health, the Index of Biologic Integrity (Uzarski et al. 2005) and the Wetland Fish Index (Seilheimer and Chow-Fraser 2007) will be compared to assess the health of each site.

Please note that presentation times are approximate. If you are interested in attending sessions with multiple presentations, please be in the room at the start of the session.
Presenter: David Sanderson-Kilchenstein (Graduate Student)
Topic: Environmental Science
Location: 122 Hartwell
Time: 2:30 pm Session IV