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Thesis - NSU Access Only
M.S. Coastal Zone Management
Second Degree Name
M.S. Marine Biology
Michael B. Robblee
Richard E. Spieler
Modeling is a powerful tool that can be used to identify important relationships between organisms and their habitat (Guisan & Zimmermann, 2000). Understanding the dynamics of how the two relate to one another is important for conserving and managing ecosystems, but the extreme complexity of those ecosystems makes it very difficult to fully diagram. Unlike many other modeling techniques, Multivariate Regression Trees (MRTs) are not limited by a prior assumptions, pre-determined relationships, transformations, or correlations. MRTs have the power to provide both explanation and prediction of ecological data by producing simple models that are easy to interpret. This study proposed to use MRTs to evaluate and model relationships between Lucania parva and the environment and habitat of Florida Bay. Counts were transformed to presence-absence and abundance groupings. Models were first run using a variety of combination of response variables and all explanatory variables. Results of these models were used to select the best combination of response and explanatory variables in an effort to create a best fit model. Models indicated that Lucania parva populations are found in the dense (cover ≥50%), shallow water (<1.8 m) grass beds that occur in the western portion of Florida Bay. A best fit model was able to explain 63.7% of the variance with predictive error of 0.43.
Pamela C. Marcum. 2013. Population Modeling of the Rainwater Killifish, Lucania parva, in Florida Bay Using Multivariate Regression Trees. Master's thesis. Nova Southeastern University. Retrieved from NSUWorks, Oceanographic Center. (159)