A Comparison of Fish Populations from Natural and Constructed Freshwater Marshes in Central Florida

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In Florida, freshwater marshes are constructed as mitigation for wetland loss associated with phosphate strip mining, but little is known regarding the similarity of fish communities in natural and constructed marshes. Fish from five constructed and eight natural marshes were sampled quarterly via throw-traps for one year. Gambusia holbrooki, Heterandria formosa, Poecilia latiuinna, Elassoma everqladei, Fundulus chrysotus, Jordanella floridae, Fundulus rubifrons, and unidentified juvenile centrarchids were found in both constructed and natural marshes, while Lucania goodei was found only in constructed marshes. A comparison between constructed and natural marsh populations showed that differences in mean abundance and biomass at p < 0.05 (Wilcoxon rank-sum teat) were present for G. holbrooki and E. everqladei. Differences in populations may be attributed to differences in conditions found in constructed and natural marshes.

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Journal of Freshwater Ecology, v. 8, issue 2, p. 149-153