Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. David Dickason

Second Advisor

Dr. Gregory Veeck

Third Advisor

Dr. Charles W. Emerson

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Habitat and fish assemblage data were collected on 12 streams in northern Michigan to assess the applicability of a habitat rating system developed for low gradient streams in Wisconsin in determining stream health in low gradient coldwater streams in northern Michigan. An Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) developed for coldwater streams in the upper Midwest was used as the measure of stream health. Principal components analysis was used to select a small subset of habitat variables to describe the variation in IBI scores. The seven habitat variables chosen to describe the variation in IBI scores in the final model included: total instream cover, percent run, standard deviation of thalweg depth, shade, buffer vegetation, rubble/cobble, and sand. Multiple ordinary least squares linear regressions were performed for each model. The model developed in this study described 85.3% of the variation in IBI scores as opposed to the Wisconsin model which described 67.5% of the variation.

Included in

Geography Commons