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Monday, February 6 • 3:40pm - 4:00pm
Technical Session. Going Against the Flow: Modeling Coldwater Stream Temperatures from Above and Below

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AUTHORS: Andrew K. Carlson, Michigan State University, Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife; Dana M. Infante, Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife; William W. Taylor, Michigan State University, Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife

ABSTRACT: As arteries of the landscape at the aquatic-terrestrial interface, streams circulate water from land to lakes and oceans, supply clean water, control floods, and provide recreational opportunities. However, these ecosystems are vulnerable to climate change, land use alteration, groundwater withdrawal, and associated threats to biotic communities and habitats. Projected increases in stream temperatures resulting from climate change are cause for concern among scientists and managers, particularly those charged with conserving thermally sensitive stream biota such as coldwater fishes. Previous studies have generally assumed spatially uniform air-stream temperature relationships, yet states such as Michigan have many streams that are thermally influenced by system-specific groundwater and precipitation patterns. We developed temperature models that account for the effects of groundwater and precipitation on stream thermal regimes and used these models to project the effects of climate change on growth and survival of brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis), brown trout (Salmo trutta), and rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Although groundwater acted as a buffer to stream warming, precipitation often explained more variation in stream temperature such that models including both predictors or precipitation alone were generally more parsimonious than groundwater-only models. Overall, groundwater- and precipitation-corrected models are more effective than standard air-stream temperature models in explaining differences in stream thermal regimes. Our results indicate that simple alterations to traditional models can improve the accuracy of temperature projections with important implications for stream salmonid management in a changing climate.  

Monday February 6, 2017 3:40pm - 4:00pm
Grand Ballroom F

Attendees (11)