Temporal and spatial patterns of fish distribution and diversity in the Noxubee river, Mississippi and Alabama
Calloway, Michael Thomas
CommitteeTaylor, M. Christopher
The Mobile Basin is a prime example of a system that has undergone extensive channel modification with corresponding declines in the distribution and abundance of the native aquatic fauna. However, many of the declining aquatic species of the Mobile basin may persist within unmodified subbasins. The Noxubee River is a subbasin of the Mobile basin that has had very little alteration throughout its watershed. I investigated the species richness and assemblage structure to determine if the contemporary fish assemblage attributes resembled the conditions represented by historic collections. The findings of this study are important because the Noxubee River has not been extensively investigated since 1983, and the river could serve as refugia for declining riverine species of the Mobile basin. After examination at both local and regional levels, I determined that a diverse contemporary fish assemblage comprising 87 species, similar to historic collections, still persists in the Noxubee River system.