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Use of Indices of Biological Integrity (IBIs) to assess wetland health in dry and wet conditions Open Access

Descriptions

Other title
Subject/Keyword
plants
birds
marshes
bioassessment
Type of item
Thesis
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Wilson, Matthew J
Supervisor and department
Bayley, Suzanne (Biological Sciences)
Examining committee member and department
Bayley, Suzanne (Biological Sciences)
Foote, A. Lee (Renewable Resources)
Roland, Jens (Biological Sciences)
Department
Department of Biological Sciences
Specialization
Ecology
Date accepted
2012-01-10T15:10:11Z
Graduation date
2012-06
Degree
Master of Science
Degree level
Master's
Abstract
Indices of Biological Integrity (IBIs) estimate the biological condition of an ecosystem by measuring biological metrics that predict underlying environmental stress. I evaluated the use of IBIs developed from 5 biotic communities at 81 semi-permanent/permanent natural and constructed wetlands. Wet meadow vegetation (R2 = 0.67) and songbirds (R2 = 0.59) were consistently sensitive to environmental stress and were strong surrogates of one another (R2 = 0.56), suggesting that plants can be used to predict songbird integrity and vise versa. Other plant and bird communities were not good indicators of environmental stress. A subset of 45 sites was resampled to evaluate the sensitivity of the wet meadow vegetation IBI to plant community changes between dry and wet conditions. Non-metric multi-dimensional scaling (NMS) revealed that IBI scores were fairly insensitive to plant community changes from relatively dry to wet conditions. These results suggest that plant-based IBIs are in fact effective at measuring ecosystem health in the Aspen Parkland.
Language
English
Rights
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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File format: pdf (Portable Document Format)
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File size: 1406193
Last modified: 2015:10:12 20:55:26-06:00
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File title: University of Alberta
File author: Matthew Wilson
Page count: 119
File language: en-US
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