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.
|Presenter:||David Sanderson-Kilchenstein (Graduate Student)|
|Time:||2:30 pm Session IV|