Productivities of resident salmonids and upland and riporian forests in 22 small watersheds of coastal northern California were estimated and compared to determine whether: 1) upland site productivity predicted riparian site productivity; 2) either upland or riparian site productivity predicted salmonid productivity; and 3) other parameters explained more of the variance in salmonid productivity. Upland and riparian site productivities were estimated using Site Index values for redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) and red alder (Alnus rubra), respectively. Salmonid productivity was indexed by back-calculated length at age 1 of the largest individuals sampled and by total biomass. Upland and riparian site indices were correlated, but neither factor contributed to the best approximating models of salmonid productivity. Total salmonid biomass was best described by a positive relationship with drainage area. Length of dominant fish was best described by a positive relationship with percentage of hardwoods within riparian areas, which may result from nutrient and/or litter subsidies provided by red older. The inability of forest productivity to predict salmon productivity may reflect insufficient variation in independent variables, limitations of the indices, and the operation of other factors affecting salmonid production. The lack of an apparent relationship between upland conifer and salmonid productivity suggests that management of land for timber productivity and component streams for salmonid production in these sites will require separate, albeit integrated, management strategies.
Additional publication details
The relationship between productivities of salmonids and forest stands in northern California watersheds