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Aquatic Ecosystem Health & Management
Year: 2011  |  Volume: 14  |  Issue: 1  |  Page No.: 75 - 84

Fish community indices of ecosystem health: How does the Bay of Quinte compare to other coastal sites in Lake Ontario?

C. M. Brousseau, R. G. Randall, J. A. Hoyle and C. K. Minns    

Abstract: The Index of Biotic Integrity (Minns et al., 1994) was used to evaluate ecosystem health in the Bay of Quinte, Lake Ontario. Despite being classified an Area of Concern (AOC) in 1985, Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) values at Bay of Quinte fell within the range or exceeded values from reference locations elsewhere in Lakes Ontario and Erie. Fish survey data collected from 1988-2009 in the Bay of Quinte and elsewhere indicated that (1) the Bay of Quinte has relatively healthy fish habitat despite the AOC designation, (2) Bay of Quinte IBI scores increased significantly between 1990 and 1999 due to changes in relative species richness and (3) differences in fish communities were correlated with physical habitat attributes at survey locations. Data from both nearshore electrofishing and trap net surveys confirmed that the Bay of Quinte supports a highly productive and diverse fish community.

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