Date of Award

12-19-2008

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.S.

Degree Program

Geology

Department

Earth and Environmental Sciences

Major Professor

O'Connell, Martin

Second Advisor

Peterson, Mark S.

Third Advisor

Georgiou, Ioannis

Abstract

Hurricanes can temporarily disrupt seasonal patterns of fish assemblage change or result in permanent changes in fish assemblages. I studied the effects of two hurricanes on fish assemblages at the Chandeleur Islands and the possible influence that storm-generated tidal channels may have on the composition of local fish assemblages. I also compared recently collected data to historic ichthyofaunal survey data collected over thirty years ago at the Chandeleur Islands. Near shore fish assemblages changed the most after hurricanes but changes in species composition were primarily due to increases in abundance and diversity. During July 2007 there was no significant difference between fish assemblages in channel and seagrass habitats, although significant differences among wash-over channels existed. Loss of habitat and the increased intensity and frequency of recent storms may explain why current fish assemblages at the Chandeleur Islands are less diverse (as measured by taxonomic distinctness) than assemblages collected during 1969-1971.

Rights

The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.

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