Advisor

Ervin, Gary

Committee Member

Taylor, Christopher

Committee Member

Brown, Richard

Date of Degree

1-1-2005

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access

Major

Biological Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Science

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of Biological Sciences

Abstract

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has mandated that states must include the use of biological assessments in their water quality laws to assess the biological integrity of aquatic systems. The Floristic Quality Assessment Index (FQAI), which uses wetland vegetation to assess the biological integrity of an ecosystem, has not been tested in Mississippi. The purpose of this study was to test the efficiency of the FQAI in wetlands along a gradient of human influence. Coefficients of conservatism (CC) were assigned to plant species based on their tolerance to disturbance and fidelity to habitat. A negative correlation was found between the FQAI and level of human disturbance for 53 sites surveyed in the summer of 2004. Based on the results of this study, the FQAI and the average CC could be effective tools for monitoring wetland management and restoration and for identifying areas of high conservation value in Mississippi.

URI

https://hdl.handle.net/11668/17351

Comments

wetland vegetation||FQAI

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