Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Charles K. Minns


Different approaches were used to characterize, assess, test and model the fish-habitat interactions of yellow perch in Long Point Bay. Chapter 1 describes the methodologies for explicitly characterizing spatial and temporal habitat through mapping and modelling. Chapter 2 connects habitat and ontogenetic niche shifts in perch life history, with the aim of determining suitable habitat availability for the Long Point Bay perch population. Habitat suitability indices and models were used to map and identify the areas of suitable habitat, including thermal habitat. Chapter 3 compares a known distribution of yellow perch larvae with HSI predictions of habitat suitability as a validation exercise. Abundance and size distributions from the survey were compared to thermal and HSI predictions of suitable habitat to test for correspondence. The relationship between food availability and habitat characteristics, especially vegetation, were also tested. A model was developed in Chapter 4 that concentrated on the first year of life and the effect of consecutive constraints on early life stages with different habitat requirements. The purpose of the model was to compare the potential growth and survival of consecutive life stages in a spatially explicit manner when different habitat-based rules are imposed. The results highlight the importance of life history theory and knowledge of mechanisms used in habitat selection for determining limits to fish production.

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