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Article

Nearshore Fish Species Richness and Species–Habitat Associations in the St. Clair–Detroit River System

1
Lake Erie Center, Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH 43606, USA
2
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Alpena Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office, Detroit River Sub-Station, Trenton, MI 48183, USA
3
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ashland Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office, Ashland, WI 54806, USA
4
U.S. Geological Survey, Great Lakes Science Center, Ann Arbor, MI 48105, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Present Address: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Maine Field Office, East Orland, ME 04431, USA.
Academic Editor: Frédéric Santoul
Water 2021, 13(12), 1616; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13121616
Received: 19 April 2021 / Revised: 28 May 2021 / Accepted: 4 June 2021 / Published: 8 June 2021
Shallow water riparian zones of large rivers provide important habitat for fishes, but anthropogenic influences have reduced the availability and quality of these habitats. In the St. Clair–Detroit River System, a Laurentian Great Lakes connecting channel, losses of riparian habitat contributed to impairment of fish populations and their habitats. We conducted a seine survey annually from 2013 to 2019 at ten sites in the St. Clair and Detroit rivers to assess riparian fish communities, and to identify habitat attributes associated with fish species richness and catches of common species. We captured a total of 38,451 fish representing 60 species, with emerald shiner Notropis atherinoides composing the largest portion of the catch. We used an information-theoretic approach to assess the associations between species richness and catches of 33 species with habitat variables (substrate, shoreline vegetation types, and aquatic macrophyte richness). Sand, cobble, and algal substrates and shoreline vegetation were important predictors of species richness based on a multimodel inference approach. However, habitat associations of individual species varied. This work identified manageable habitat variables associated with species richness, while identifying potential tradeoffs for individual species. Further, this work provides baselines for development and evaluation of fish community and shoreline habitat restoration goals. View Full-Text
Keywords: fish community; great lakes; large river; riparian; river restoration; shallow water habitat fish community; great lakes; large river; riparian; river restoration; shallow water habitat
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hilling, C.D.; Fischer, J.L.; Ross, J.; Tucker, T.R.; DeBruyne, R.L.; Mayer, C.M.; Roseman, E.F. Nearshore Fish Species Richness and Species–Habitat Associations in the St. Clair–Detroit River System. Water 2021, 13, 1616. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13121616

AMA Style

Hilling CD, Fischer JL, Ross J, Tucker TR, DeBruyne RL, Mayer CM, Roseman EF. Nearshore Fish Species Richness and Species–Habitat Associations in the St. Clair–Detroit River System. Water. 2021; 13(12):1616. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13121616

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hilling, Corbin D., Jason L. Fischer, Jason Ross, Taaja R. Tucker, Robin L. DeBruyne, Christine M. Mayer, and Edward F. Roseman 2021. "Nearshore Fish Species Richness and Species–Habitat Associations in the St. Clair–Detroit River System" Water 13, no. 12: 1616. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13121616

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