Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Dibble, Eric

Committee Member

Schramm, Harold

Committee Member

Madsen, John

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Wildlife and Fisheries Science

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Forest Resources


Department of Wildlife and Fisheries


Two experiments were conducted to investigate the hypothesis that exotic macrophytes alter littoral zone habitat and impact fish that inhabit these areas. The pond experiment was conducted to explore impacts of exotic invasive plants on growth and condition of juvenile largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides). The second experiment was conducted at a smaller scale in aquaria to simulate an invasion of hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata) and its influence on juvenile bass foraging. Fish experienced slower growth in the hydrilla treatment than in the diverse, and the ability of bass to capture prey fish was impeded in hydrilla. Juvenile bass growth decreased in habitats containing hydrilla and is likely a result of increased difficulty in capturing quality prey items such as small fish. Results from the two experiments collectively supported my hypothesis that hydrilla growth altered the littoral zone habitat such that foraging was hindered and resulted in slower growth.