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Species composition and richness of fish assemblages in altered and unaltered littoral habitats in Lake St. Clair, Michigan, differed between areas. A percid-cyprinid-cyprinodontid assemblage dominated in the unaltered area, Muscamoot Bay, which has a natural shoreline (with almost no alteration due to dredging or bulkheading), high water quality, and high species richness of aquatic macrophytes. A centrarchid assemblage dominated in the altered area, Belvidere Bay, which has a bulkheaded shoreline, many dredged areas, reduced water quality due to inputs of nutrients from a nearby river, and relatively low species richness of aquatic macrophytes. Habitat factors, species richness and abundance of aquatic macrophytes, had the most influence on fish community structure in both areas. The percid-cyprinid-cyprinodontid assemblage was significantly correlated with six species of macrophytes whereas the centrarchid assemblage was significantly correlated with only four. These patterns suggest that preference for diverse habitats was higher, and tolerance to habitat alteration lower, in percid-cyprinid-cyprinodontid assemblages than in centrarchid assemblages.
Additional Publication Details
Comparison of species composition and richness of fish assemblages in altered and unaltered littoral habitats