An in-depth ecological analysis of how and why the aquatic community changes over time was conducted for 6 streams on the Fort Polk military base in Louisiana using data collected from 2001 to 2019. Fort Polk is a unique location as nineteen first-order streams are located on the premises belonging to three separate drainages. The primary goal was to determine whether temporal or between-drainage variation has a larger effect on community structure. To accomplish this the effects of disturbance on fish and macroinvertebrate assemblages was determined temporally and between drainages. Several hypotheses were drawn from this: 1) temporally, assemblages exhibit fluctuations in diversity around disturbance events, but eventually recover to a base-state; 2) the 2012 drought caused a reduction in both fish and macroinvertebrate assemblage diversity and overall quantity in comparison to the other years; and 3) fish assemblages will vary between drainages more so than macroinvertebrate assemblages. A secondary goal was to determine the overall assemblage diversity of the drainages. It was found that 1) there was no recognizable pattern to assemblage diversity fluctuations and recovery; 2) the 2012 drought did not cause a significant reduction in fish or macroinvertebrate assemblages compared to subsequent years; and 3) fish assemblages differed by watershed more than macroinvertebrate assemblages, which often differed significantly by year. These ecological analyses present a more comprehensive picture of the ecosystems in the region.
Date of publication
Dr. Lance Williams, Dr. Josh Banta, Dr. Neil Ford, Marsha Williams
Master of Science in Biology
Joerger, Danielle, "ECOLOGICAL ANALYSES OF MACROINVERTEBRATES AND FISH SPECIES IN SIX STREAMS ON A LOUISIANA MILITARY BASE FROM 2001 TO 2019" (2020). Biology Theses. Paper 62.