Beyond The Indices: Relations of Habitat and Fish Characteristics in the Georgia Piedmont
Kennen, Jonathan G.
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Multivariate statistical techniques were used to gain additional insight about ecological variability and the dominant environmental gradients in biological and habitat data from Piedmont streams sampled by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Principal components analysis indicated that relevant patterns in the fish assemblage were related to the number of benthic invertivore, cyprinid, and simple lithophilic species; and pioneering versus sunfish species. In addition, principal components analysis indicated that habitat variability was related to number of riffles, sediment deposition and embeddedness, bank stability, and stream width and depth. Multiple regression analysis of fish assemblage metrics indicated that the number of benthic invertivore, cyprinid, and lithophilic species appeared to be negatively associated with many substrate characteristics that are indicative of sedimentation. Results also indicate that from a management perspective it may be necessary to evaluate small headwater streams separately from larger streams.