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Role of climate and invasive species in structuring trout distributions in the interior Columbia River Basin, USA

Posted date: August 31, 2011
Publication Year: 
2011
Authors: Wenger, Seth J.; Isaak, Daniel J.; Dunham, Jason B.; Fausch, Kurt D.; Luce, Charles H.; Neville, Helen M.; Rieman, Bruce E.; Young, Michael K.Nagel, David E.Horan, DonaChandler, Gwynne L.
Publication Series: 
Miscellaneous Publication
Source: Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Science. 68: 988-1008.

Abstract

Recent and projected climate warming trends have prompted interest in impacts on coldwater fishes. We examined the role of climate (temperature and flow regime) relative to geomorphology and land use in determining the observed distributions of three trout species in the interior Columbia River Basin, USA. We considered two native species, cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii) and bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus), as well as nonnative brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis). We also examined the response of the native species to the presence of brook trout. Analyses were conducted using multilevel logistic regression applied to a geographically broad database of 4165 fish surveys. The results indicated that bull trout distributions were strongly related to climatic factors, and more weakly related to the presence of brook trout and geomorphic variables. Cutthroat trout distributions were weakly related to climate but strongly related to the presence of brook trout. Brook trout distributions were related to both climate and geomorphic variables, including proximity to unconfined valley bottoms. We conclude that brook trout and bull trout are likely to be adversely affected by climate warming, whereas cutthroat trout may be less sensitive. The results illustrate the importance of considering species interactions and flow regime alongside temperature in understanding climate effects on fish.

Citation

Wenger, Seth J.; Isaak, Daniel J.; Dunham, Jason B.; Fausch, Kurt D.; Luce, Charles H.; Neville, Helen M.; Rieman, Bruce E.; Young, Michael K.; Nagel, David E.; Horan, Dona L.; Chandler, Gwynne L. 2011. Role of climate and invasive species in structuring trout distributions in the interior Columbia River Basin, USA. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Science. 68: 988-1008.