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SFS Annual Meeting

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Use of MaxEnt Modeling for Smoky Dace (Clinostomus sp. cf. funduloides): Ground-truthing, Model Improvement, and Sampling Bias Limitation

The Smoky Dace (Clinostomus sp. cf. funduloides) is considered an undescribed species closely related to the Rosyside Dace (Clinostomus funduloides). Smoky Dace are known to inhabit low order streams of the upper Hiwassee and Little Tennessee River basins in North Carolina and Georgia, but little else is known about other habitat associations. A Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) model was developed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to improve understanding of aquatic species distributions and macrohabitat use in NC. We used this MaxEnt model for Smoky Dace site targeting and evaluated model success. We detected Smoky Dace at 50 out of 139 sites sampled in late spring and early summer of 2016. Smoky Dace were predominately found in sand-dominated pools with woody debris presence. The model’s use of only macrohabitat variables could have attributed to lower detection rates than expected due to limited knowledge of site microhabitat conditions. However, the USFWS model was useful in targeting sites for detection of Smoky Dace. Improved understanding of the distribution, status, and habitat (micro and macro) associations of Smoky Dace can lead to more thorough and successful conservation strategies.

Luke Etchison (Primary Presenter/Author, Co-Presenter/Co-Author), NC Wildlife Resources Commission,;

Steve Fraley ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), NC Wildlife Resources Commission,;