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Title: Survival of Florida Largemouth Bass in a Coastal Refuge Habitat across Years of Varying Drying Severity

In aquatic systems, refuge habitats increase resistance to drying events and maintain populations in disturbed environments. However, reduced water availability and altered flow regimes threaten the function of these habitats. We conducted a capture–mark–recapture study, integrating angler citizen science. Our objectives were to quantify variation in survival of Florida Largemouth BassMicropterus salmoides floridanusin a coastal refuge habitat across seasonal hydrological periods and over 4 years of varying drying severity and to determine the contribution of angler sampling to improving capture probabilities. Apparent survival of Florida Largemouth Bass in the coastal Everglades was highest in wet and drying periods and lowest in dry and reflooding periods. Interannual survival was closely tied to the length of upstream marsh drying, with the lowest observed survival (0.21) during a drought year. The inclusion of angler sampling improved recapture probabilities, suggesting that angler data can supplement standardized electrofishing sampling. Findings show that during short drying events Florida Largemouth Bass survival can be relatively high, with implications for Everglades restoration. Understanding the ability of refuge habitats to buffer populations from drying disturbance is a key component for conservation and restoration, particularly under climate change scenarios.

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Award ID(s):
1237517 1832229 2025954
Author(s) / Creator(s):
 ;  ;  ;  
Publisher / Repository:
Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Transactions of the American Fisheries Society
Page Range / eLocation ID:
p. 435-451
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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