Date of Award

Fall 12-16-2017

Semester of Degree


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

M.S. in Environmental and Forest Biology


Environmental and Forest Biology

Steering Committee Member

John Farrell

Steering Committee Member

Kimberly Schulz, James McKenna

Steering Committee Member

John Stella, Robin Hoffman


We explored several aspects of the northern pike larval period including the abiotic and biotic dynamics of spring nursery marshes, prey selection in two common nursery habitats, and physical conditions, diet, and survival rates in enhanced wetlands. These findings highlight the importance of physical conditions of nursery marshes on the development of eggs and larvae and production of abundant zooplankton prey. In laboratory experiments, larvae displayed greater prey selection for zooplankton originating in flooded wetlands than nearshore bays. A greater proportion of large cladocerans were selected by larvae given a wetland assemblage. In a mark and recapture study, larval pike survival rates were higher in enhancement sites when compared with those in existing sites, possibly due to more suitable environmental conditions. This research on pike ecology in coastal wetlands may help managers and researchers to better understand larval requirements and devise effective solutions to environmental problems affecting their recruitment.