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Title: Landscape-level model to predict spawning habitat for Lower Columbia River fall Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)

Author: Busch, D. Shallin; Sheer, Mindi; Burnett, Kelly; McElhany, Paul; Cooney, Tom.

Date: 2013

Source: River Research and Applications. 29: 297-312

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: We developed an intrinsic potential (IP) model to estimate the potential of streams to provide habitat for spawning fall Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in the Lower Columbia River evolutionarily significant unit. This evolutionarily significant unit is a threatened species, and both fish abundance and distribution are reduced from historical levels. The IP model focuses on geomorphic conditions that lead to the development of a habitat that fish use and includes three geomorphic channel parameters: confinement, width and gradient. We found that the amount of potential habitat for each population does not correlate with current, depressed, total population abundance. However, reaches currently used by spawners have high IP, and IP model results correlate well with results from the complex Ecosystem Diagnosis and Treatment model. A disproportionately large amount of habitat with the best potential is currently inaccessible to fish because of anthropogenic barriers. Sensitivity analyses indicate that uncertainty in the relationship between channel width and habitat suitability has the largest influence on model results and that model form influences model results more for some populations than for others.

Keywords: Chinook salmon, habitat modeling, intrinsic potential, digital elevation model, Lower Columbia River (USA)

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Busch, D. Shallin; Sheer, Mindi; Burnett, Kelly; McElhany, Paul; Cooney, Tom. 2013. Landscape-level model to predict spawning habitat for Lower Columbia River fall Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha). River Research and Applications. 29: 297-312.

 


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