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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Spatial and Temporal Variation of Goldstripe Darter Abundance in First-Order Streams in North-Central Mississippi

Authors
item Smiley, Peter
item Dibble, Eric - MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIV
item Schoenholtz, Stephen - MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIV

Submitted to: American Midland Naturalist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 7, 2006
Publication Date: July 1, 2006
Citation: Smiley, P.C., Dibble, E., Schoenholtz, S. 2006. Spatial and temporal variation of goldstripe darter abundance in first-order streams in north-central mississippi. American Midland Naturalist. 156:23-36.

Interpretive Summary: The goldstripe darter is a small fish that is found in the southeastern United States, and these fish are endangered and threatened in certain portions of their range. Little is known about what habitat features influence the abundance of these fish in streams. Previous research suggests that the abundance of goldstripe darters is impacted by habitat alterations. Understanding the relationships between goldstripe darter abundance and habitat characteristics of streams will assist with developing management plans for the conservation of goldstripe darters. We sampled fishes and physical habitat in fourteen first-order streams within pine plantations in north-central Mississippi. Differences in goldstripe darter abundance among streams and sampling periods were observed. We also frequently captured creek chub, brown madtom, and least brook lamprey when we captured goldstripe darters in these small streams. Goldstripe darter abundance increased with increases in canopy cover, water temperature, and sand substrate. Our results suggest that management plans designed to maintain and develop forested riparian zones and increase canopy cover adjacent to small streams in Mississippi would assist with preventing population declines of goldstripe darters in watersheds repeatedly subjected to timber harvesting.

Technical Abstract: Little is known about the spatial and temporal dynamics of abundance and habitat use of the goldstripe darter (Etheostoma parvipinne). We assessed population dynamics, species associates and habitat use of this rarely studied darter in 14 first-order streams within pine plantations in north-central Mississippi. The pattern of goldstripe darter abundance among sampling periods differed among streams. Three streams with the greatest abundance of goldstripe darters exhibited significant differences in abundance among sampling periods, while the remaining 10 streams did not differ in abundance among sampling periods. Goldstripe darters exhibited the greatest associations with creek chub (Semotilus atromaculatus), brown madtom (Noturus phaeus) and least brook lamprey (Lampetra aepyptera). Goldstripe darter abundance was positively correlated with canopy cover, water temperature and sand. Our results suggest that management plans designed to maintain and develop forested riparian zones adjacent to first-order streams would assist with the conservation of goldstripe darters.

Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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