Date of Award

5-2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Biology

First Advisor

David J. Janetski

Second Advisor

Joseph E. Duchamp

Third Advisor

Jeffery L. Larkin

Fourth Advisor

Anne L. Timm

Abstract

The brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) is a species in decline stemming from habitat fragmentation caused by many anthropogenic factors including climate change, barriers to dispersal, land use changes, water quality degradation, and competition with introduced species. Most studies have focused on these stressors individually, despite multiple stressors affecting a single population being a common occurrence. Multiple stressors can lead to a management dilemma: often addressing one issue enhances the negative effects of another. The present study attempts to examine this trade-off concerning a brook trout population that is primarily threatened by poor water quality caused by abandoned mine drainage and competition with the non-native brown trout (Salmo trutta). Results gathered on the abundance, movement, and genetic patterns of wild trout in the study watershed will serve as a baseline for a long-term monitoring effort that will track the outcome of this population of brook trout faced with multiple stressors.

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