Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

One Fish, Two Fish ─ Camera Counts Freshwater Fish, Which Could Help Combat Hydrilla

26.01.2015

A camera can accurately count freshwater fish, even in the thickest of underwater vegetation, a key finding for those who manage fisheries and control the invasive plant hydrilla, new University of Florida research shows.

The finding by UF/IFAS scientists can help researchers understand how many and which fish species are using dense plant habitats, said former UF/IFAS graduate student Kyle Wilson.


Former UF/IFAS doctoral student Andrew Barbour.

Former UF/IFAS graduate student Kyle Wilson prepares a equipment for his fish count

While cameras have been used to document fish behavior – including eating and breeding ─ this marks the first time scientists have used video to count fish in underwater plant habitats, Wilson said. In addition, no prior studies that used cameras to count fish verified their fish populations.

“It is commonly assumed that dense and invasive plants, like hydrilla, can drastically change fish habitat quality, primarily through changes in dissolved oxygen levels, water chemistry and habitat structure,” Wilson said. “Whether these changes are good or bad for fish has previously remained uncertain due to sampling problems in dense plant habitats. Using underwater cameras, we have shown that fish can and do use habitats we previously thought were too stressful for fish habitat.”

This is a big problem, especially with hydrilla, a plant that has invaded lakes throughout Florida, much of the U.S., Central America, South Africa and Australia, Wilson said. He estimated Florida spent up to $14 million per year throughout the 2000s to manage hydrilla, while the U.S. spent about $100 million per year in the 2000s for aquatic plant management.

In practical terms, researchers and conservation managers could use the UF/IFAS techniques to better understand how fish use other invasive aquatic plants as well, like Eurasian Watermilfoil, because it’s similar to hydrilla, Wilson said. Such approaches can be quite valuable in advising conservation plans and can help resolve stakeholder issues associated with these invasive plants.

“This ability to use video cameras to estimate fish abundance is a tremendous asset to fisheries management, allowing us to evaluate fish habitat use in areas where previously no sampling method was effective,” Wilson said. Australian researchers studying fish ecology have used cameras to count fish in the relatively clear waters at the Great Barrier Reef, but no research has peered through a lens to detect fish in thick vegetation like this study. “Previously, researchers that used cameras have had to make several broad assumptions that cameras work well in sampling fish. Now we know they work well.”

UF/IFAS researchers specifically focused their study on ponds with plenty of hydrilla, Wilson said, but have also conducted preliminary camera work on Lake Tohopekaliga in the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes Area.

To research his master’s thesis, Wilson lowered a camera into the water from a boat in three experimental ponds in Gainesville. He discovered the video counted freshwater fish, such as largemouth bass and bluegill sunfish – even those hidden in the nooks and crannies of hydrilla and other vegetation. Wilson counted fish during 13 weeks in the summers of 2011 and 2012, and then drained the ponds to obtain actual fish densities.
He conducted his research under the supervision of Micheal Allen, a professor of fisheries ecology at UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

“We tested and verified the use of our camera techniques in extremely dense hydrilla habitats,” said Wilson, now a doctoral student in ecology at the University of Calgary.
The UF/IFAS study is published in the January issue of the journal Marine and Freshwater Research.

By Brad Buck, 352-294-3303, bradbuck@ufl.edu
Sources: Kyle Wilson, 403-402-4955, wilsok@ucalgary.ca
Micheal Allen, 352-273-3624, msal@ufl.edu

Brad Buck | newswise
Further information:
http://www.ufl.edu

Further reports about: Fish aquatic cameras ecology invasive invasive plants underwater

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Raiding the rape field
23.05.2018 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht New technique reveals details of forest fire recovery
17.05.2018 | DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

When corals eat plastics

24.05.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Surgery involving ultrasound energy found to treat high blood pressure

24.05.2018 | Medical Engineering

First chip-scale broadband optical system that can sense molecules in the mid-IR

24.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>