This module provides a framework for upper-level ecology students to learn about limiting factors for stream fish diversity, using data from Shenandoah National Park and gaining skills in predictive, regression-based modeling.
Acid rain has impacted small mountain streams in the Northeastern United States for many decades. These small streams represent critical habitat for cold-water fish assemblages, whose habitats are being further constricted by climate change. Predictive models, assuming a 2˚C rise in stream temperatures due to climate change, suggest that cold water species like eastern Brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) will face a ‘habitat squeeze’ as pressures from stream acidification overlap with pressures from rising stream temperatures (McDonnell et al. 2015). Therefore, the viability of mountain streams in providing habitat is critical for preserving diverse native fish assemblages. Amendments to the Clean Air Act implemented in 1995 have greatly reduced atmospheric emissions of acidic compounds; however, the response of streams and their fish assemblages is not well understood. In this module, we ask the question ‘what is the current relationship between stream acidification and fish species richness in Shenandoah National Park?’ In addressing this question, students will explore limiting factors on diversity and develop skills in predictive regression-based modeling. The module contains both a guided inquiry and open-ended explorations.
Contents ( Show bundle contents ) Bundle
- Christine May - CMay_TIEE_submission_final_version_revised 1.docx(DOCX | 940 KB)
- Christine May - Harmon_SNP_Fish_Diversity_small_dataset.xlsx(XLSX | 15 KB)
- Christine May - SHEN_FISH_large_dataset_PHarmon.xlsx(XLSX | 674 KB)
- Christine May - SWAS_water_chemistry_data_1996_2016_Quarterly.xlsx(XLSX | 171 KB)
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Cite this work
Researchers should cite this work as follows:
- May, C., Harmon, P. (2018). Have fish assemblages recovered from the legacy of acid rain?. DIG into Data FMN (2017), QUBES Educational Resources. doi:10.25334/Q4RH8C