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Microhabitat Use of Turquoise Darters (Etheostoma inscriptum) in Two Streams in the Georgia Piedmont

Bryson G. Hilburn1 and Gary D. Grossman1,*

1Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia, 180 E Green Street, Athens, GA 30602. *Corresponding author.

Southeastern Naturalist,Volume 20, Issue 3 (2021): 448–458

We quantified microhabitat use of Etheostoma inscriptum (Turquoise Darter) in 2 streams in the Oconee River watershed in the Georgia Piedmont using snorkeling observations during September 2020. This species has a restricted distribution, and little is known about its habitat associations. Principal component analysis indicated that Turquoise Darters were over-represented in patches characterized by higher column and bottom water velocities and higher percentages of erosional substrata (gravel or small cobble) at both sites. Turquoise Darters were under-represented in patches characterized by higher amounts of depositional substrata (sand and silt) in both sites. These results indicate that sedimentation and hydrological alterations could limit suitable habitat for Turquoise Darters.

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