Natural Resources, School of


Date of this Version



Hamel, M.J. 2013. Determining Scaphirhynchus Sturgeon Population Demographics and Dynamics: Implications for Range-Wide Management, Recovery, and Conservation. Ph.D. Dissertation. University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska.


A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Major: Natural Resource Sciences (Applied Ecology), Under the Supervision of Professor Mark A. Pegg. Lincoln, Nebraska: December, 2013

Copyright (c) 2013 Martin Joseph Hamel


Sturgeons (Acipenseridae) have experienced world-wide declines as a result of anthropogenic effects such as over-harvest, habitat degradation, altered flow regimes, and pollution. Nearly all European and Asian sturgeon species have experienced population declines and have subsequently been classified as either threatened or endangered. North American sturgeons have experienced a similar plight in that all eight native sturgeon species are listed as endangered, threatened, or of special concern. Direct linkages between North American sturgeon declines and anthropogenic effects are difficult to assess due to scale considerations, fluctuating environmental conditions, difficulty in capture, and the interaction of all these effects. To recover, restore, or maintain abundance of these species across their range, thorough knowledge of life history characteristics or strategies, population dynamics, and population connectivity for each species is imperative. In this dissertation, I use data from local (Platte and Missouri Rivers, Nebraska) to nearly range-wide scales to describe components of Scaphirhynchus sturgeon population dynamics and demographics and assess various analyses typically used for calculation of dynamic rate functions.

Adviser: Mark A. Pegg