Meeting Abstract

S2.10  Sunday, Jan. 4 14:30  Linking landscape-scale disturbances to stress and condition of resident fishes: implications for restoration and conservation SUSKI, Cory/D*; COOKE, Steven/J; University of Illinois; Carleton University suski@illinois.edu http://fishlab.nres.illinois.edu/

Human activities that alter land use, such as urbanization and increased agriculture, can negatively impact habitat for resident organisms. More importantly, habitat choices have physiological consequences for organisms, and sub-optimal habitats can lead to increased energy expenditure or chronic stress that can cause negative outcomes for individuals populations. Fish have been well studied in terms of habitat use and selection with much research on physiology and environmental relations in a laboratory context. Less common are efforts to explore physiological and energetic consequences of habitat selection in the wild. The use of sub-lethal physiological tools can provide novel insights into how both land use and habitat types impact individual fish. With the imperiled and threatened status of many freshwater fishes, there is a critical need to define relationships between land use, habitat quality and physiological performance for resident fishes to aid with restoration and habitat analyses. The objective of this study was to relate variation in land use at the watershed scale to the physiological properties of resident fishes. For this, we used both an extensive, as well as an intensive, approach, coupling field observations, standardized stress sampling, and physiological sampling across a range of land uses. Results demonstrate the value of natural areas in facilitating the physiological condition of resident fishes. Results are further discussed in the context of habitat restoration.