Projected climate-induced habitat loss for salmonids in the John Day River network, Oregon, U.S.A.

Conservation Biology
By: , and 



Climate change will likely have profound effects on cold-water species of freshwater fishes. As temperatures rise, cold-water fish distributions may shift and contract in response. Predicting the effects of projected stream warming in stream networks is complicated by the generally poor correlation between water temperature and air temperature. Spatial dependencies in stream networks are complex because the geography of stream processes is governed by dimensions of flow direction and network structure. Therefore, forecasting climate-driven range shifts of stream biota has lagged behind similar terrestrial modeling efforts. We predicted climate-induced changes in summer thermal habitat for 3 cold-water fish species—juvenile Chinook salmon, rainbow trout, and bull trout (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha, O. mykiss, and Salvelinus confluentus, respectively)—in the John Day River basin, northwestern United States. We used a spatially explicit statistical model designed to predict water temperature in stream networks on the basis of flow and spatial connectivity. The spatial distribution of stream temperature extremes during summers from 1993 through 2009 was largely governed by solar radiation and interannual extremes of air temperature. For a moderate climate change scenario, estimated declines by 2100 in the volume of habitat for Chinook salmon, rainbow trout, and bull trout were 69–95%, 51–87%, and 86–100%, respectively. Although some restoration strategies may be able to offset these projected effects, such forecasts point to how and where restoration and management efforts might focus.
Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Projected climate-induced habitat loss for salmonids in the John Day River network, Oregon, U.S.A.
Series title Conservation Biology
DOI 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2012.01897.x
Volume 26
Issue 5
Year Published 2012
Language English
Publisher Society for Conservation Biology
Publisher location Washington, D.C.
Contributing office(s) Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center
Description 10 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Conservation Biology
First page 873
Last page 882
Country United States
State Oregon
Other Geospatial John Day River
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