Master's Theses

Date of Award

Spring 1990

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Biology

Advisor

Thomas L. Wenke

Abstract

Seventy-two fish collections at 31 localities were taken from the spring of 1985 through December of 1986 in an effort to clarify the status of the fish fauna in a poorly sampled area of northeastern Kansas. Species composition and distributions of fishes were assessed in stream reaches that included portions of Leavenworth, Atchison, Doniphan, Brown, and Nemaha, counties. Of the 43 species collected, the black nose dace was found only in the western tributaries of the Nemaha River. This species previously was unreported from Kansas. Also in the Nemaha River, one flathead chub (which is threatened in Kansas) and numerous plains minnows (which are on the Kansas list of taxa in need of conservation) were seined. Two other species in need of conservation also were sampled. Brassy minnows were taken inconsistently at three sites, whereas the river shiner was found at one locality. Ordination of sites by detrended correspondence analysis indicated homogeneous species composition throughout the study area. Detrended canonical correspondence analysis of species rank abundances indicated strong correlation between species composition and stream width, upstream drainage area, and discharge. However only eight of 26 species included in the analysis exhibited strong associations to these environmental variables. The predominance of tolerant species suggests that habitats are not sufficiently stable to support a diverse fauna in this area. However, the presence of juvenile individuals of species that otherwise were rare or characteristic of larger stream systems suggests that these streams may be important nursery areas for species that inhabit these larger streams.

Rights

Copyright 1990 William J. Stark

Comments

Notice: This material may be protected by copyright law (Title 17 U.S. Code).

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