Fish and invertebrate community response to flow magnitude in the Kansas River

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dc.contributor.author Gerken, Joseph Edward
dc.date.accessioned 2015-04-24T17:06:45Z
dc.date.available 2015-04-24T17:06:45Z
dc.date.issued 2015-04-24
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2097/19074
dc.description.abstract River discharge influences fish and invertebrate communities and understanding how hydrologic variables contribute to fish and invertebrate composition can provide information for restoration and management. This study examines the relationship between several flow regime metrics that may influence fish and invertebrate community structure in large river systems such as the Kansas River. First, I examined how hydrology influences macroinvertebrate (drifting and benthic) density and fish communities before, during, and after flooding in both main and secondary channels. I found that drifting invertebrate density increased during flooding potentially providing increased prey opportunities for fishes. I also found that fluvial dependent and generalist fish species use inundated habitats more than fluvial specialists. My results suggest that the flux of water into inundated habitats supports a unique subset of invertebrate and fish communities of the main channel. Next, I examined the importance of lateral connectivity on fish and invertebrate composition by examining differences in seasonally and permanently inundated secondary channels in relation to main channel reaches. I found that drifting and benthic invertebrate assemblages and fish assemblages differed between seasonally inundated and permanently connected secondary channels. These results suggest that maintenance of diverse secondary channel connections is useful in preserving native biota in the Kansas River. Finally, I tested if hydrologic variables influenced recruitment of four native Kansas River fishes. I found that recruitment for two of the four fish species (flathead catfish, Pylodictis olivaris, and shovelnose sturgeon, Scaphirhynchus platorynchus) increased in high flow years. These results indicate that a natural and variable flow regime may be important for maintaining fish community structure in the Kansas River. The results of this study have implications for management strategies that include the use of high flows to provide a pulse of insect prey to the main channel for fishes, restoration of natural high and low flow variability as important to fish recruitment, and diversity in secondary channel connectivity (seasonal and permanently connected) that promotes unique fish and invertebrate communities. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Funded by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism and additional support provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Kansas State University en
dc.subject Lateral connectivity en_US
dc.subject Flood en_US
dc.subject Flood pulse concept en_US
dc.subject Fish en_US
dc.subject Invertebrate en_US
dc.subject Kansas river en_US
dc.title Fish and invertebrate community response to flow magnitude in the Kansas River en_US
dc.type Dissertation en_US
dc.description.degree Doctor of Philosophy en_US
dc.description.level Doctoral en_US
dc.description.department Department of Biology en_US
dc.description.advisor Craig Paukert en_US
dc.subject.umi Biology (0306) en_US
dc.subject.umi Ecology (0329) en_US
dc.subject.umi Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences (0792) en_US
dc.date.published 2015 en_US
dc.date.graduationmonth May en_US


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