Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program



Earth and Environmental Sciences

Major Professor

O'Connell, Martin

Second Advisor

Peterson, Mark S.

Third Advisor

Georgiou, Ioannis


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.


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