EFFECT OF HABITAT QUALITY ON ROUND GOBY (NEOGOBIUS MELANOSTOMUS) AND WHITE SUCKER (CATOSTOMUS COMMERSONII) IN STREAMS
Habitat quality has implications for the health of stream biota and may differentially impact native vs. non-native species. To evaluate the impact of habitat on native and non-native fish, we compared the body condition of the native white sucker (Catostomus commersonii) and the invasive round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) in relationship to habitat assessments. Habitat quality was assessed using a Rapid Habitat Assessment (RHA) over two years (2016 and 2017) in seven Michigan rivers. The RHA included an evaluation of ten physical properties including embeddedness, velocity, and pool variability. Fish health was determined using body mass to length ratios (condition factor) and liver mass to body mass ratios (liver index). Measures of fish health were then evaluated for correlation with the RHA (Pearson Correlation). No correlation was found between habitat quality and condition factor, but there was a strong negative correlation between habitat quality and liver indices of both species, potentially indicating physiological stress. Of the two species, white sucker had a stronger response to decreased habitat quality (larger relative liver mass) than round goby, suggesting the invasive species may be better equipped to deal with degraded environments.
Robert Roose (Primary Presenter/Author), Wayne State University, email@example.com;
Corey Krabbenhoft (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University at Buffalo, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Donna Kashian (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Wayne State University, email@example.com;