Fish and Unionid mussels are important components of aquatic ecosystems and the population decline of these organisms has become a topic of concern. Currently, there are six species of concern and three-state-threatened fish species and six state-threatened Unionid species that occur in east Texas. However, little information is known about the ecology of these species. In this study, I used ecological niche modeling, the software packages Maxent, and eleven abiotic environmental parameters to predict the probability of occurrence of rare fish and mussel species in east Texas. We were unable to model the fish species; however, the models for the Unionids were statistically significant (AUC >0.75). We used ENMtools to determine if the Unionid species exhibited statistically significant ecological differences and concluded that the niche models were significantly different from one another. Through the use of this software, we were able to determine locations and quantities of similar habitat and geomorphology in east Texas to help describe the amount of available habitat for these species and predict their probability of occurrence.
Date of publication
Dunithan, Ashley, "Using Ecological Niche Modeling to Predict Occurence of Rare Fish and Unionid Mussels in East Texas" (2012). Biology Theses. Paper 13.