Trophic Dynamics of Smallmouth Bass Invading Coldwater Ecosystems
Nettere, Oliver J.
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Smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) are a freshwater fish species that was introduced into Virginia in the late 1800’s. The range of smallmouth bass is expected to expand, with climate change being a primary-driver of this projected range increase. The expansion of the range of smallmouth bass in Virginia poses a threat to coldwater ecosystems and will likely cause increased encroachment on native brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis). The trophic ecology of smallmouth bass in rivers is poorly studied so the effects of this invasion remain unclear. Although smallmouth bass are currently not likely to have a major negative impact on brook trout since the present area of overlap of these two species is limited, it is important to be proactive in gaining an understanding of what future impacts the invasion of smallmouth bass will have on brook trout and coldwater ecosystems as a whole. [From Executive Summary]
Oliver J. Nettere is a member of the Class of 2016 of Washington and Lee University.Capstone; [FULL-TEXT FREELY AVAILABLE ONLINE]