Effects of Hydrology on Fish Metapopulation Dynamics

Research needed to balance human demands for water with the requirements of aquatic organisms

In recent years many parts of the US have experienced severe droughts, which are expected to worsen and increase in frequency in coming decades. During dry periods it can be a challenge to balance elevated human demands for water supply with aquatic ecosystem needs. Since 2011, the USGS WaterSMART program has worked in the Flint River Basin to study how aquatic organisms respond to changing water levels, generating information needed for effective water management policy.

River Basin Center researchers are working in close partnership with the WaterSMART Program to conduct field research in the Flint River Basin and to build models that relate metapopulation dynamics of stream fishes to inter-seasonal variation in streamflow. The work is funded by USGS grants and is expected to continue through 2016.

Funding: USGS grants of approximately $60,000 per year.
RBC Personnel: Mary Freeman, Megan Hagler, Kit Wheeler, Phillip Bumpers, Seth Wenger
Partners: USGS


RBC personnel have worked with the USGS WaterSMARTprogram to study how aquatic organisms respond to changing water levels. Photo by Jeremy Monroe, Freshwater Illustrated. Used by permission.