Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Ciborowski, Jan


Biological Index, Fish, Great Lakes, ROC, Wetlands



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Assessing the quality of biological communities is important in the management of Great Lakes Coastal Wetlands. Biological indicator models can be used to quantify the condition of biotic communities. A number of biological indicators have been developed for use with fish communities in Great Lakes Coastal wetlands. The overall goal of this thesis was to assess the performance of various biological indicators in their ability to identify degradation in wetland fish communities. Biological indicators were assessed with respect to the disturbance gradient against which they was originally derived. Subsequently, the models' utility as diagnostic tools was assessed for use in identifying sources of anthropogenic stress. Overall, the Cooper-IBIs and Wetland Fish Indices demonstrated the highest classification accuracy, although factors such as their relative sensitivity and specificity, and the purposes for which they were originally designed should be taken into account when applying each indicator.