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Modeling Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and brown trout (Salmo trutta) responses to river habitat alteration
Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Environmental and Life Sciences (from 2013). (Naturresurs Rinnande Vatten, River Ecology and Management)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3576-7538
2020 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Half the world’s river volume is affected by flow alterations and/or fragmentation, a figure that is likely to increase with the current global surge in hydropower development. At the same time, freshwater biodiversity is in rapid decline. In fluvial ecosystems, streamflow is a master variable, shaping riverine species’ habitat over space and time. Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and brown trout (S. trutta) are examples of species that need fluvial habitats for reproduction and juvenile rearing, and whose flow needs can come in conflict with hydropower production objectives. This necessitates tools for predicting the effect of fluvial habitat alteration on fish production.

In this thesis, I applied the individual-based model inSTREAM to simulate salmon and trout in the Gullspång Rapids, a residual flow stretch of the Gullspång River, Sweden, over a ten-year period. InSTREAM uses sub-daily time steps to simulate individual fish interacting with their biotic and physical environment, and tracks the fitness consequences of their main actions: habitat and activity selection. For inSTREAM input, I had to describe key habitat features, create a 2D hydraulic model of the rapids, model river temperature, and gather data on salmon and trout eco-physiology and life history characteristics in the Gullspång River. I ran simulation experiments varying either flow input, the number of spawners, spawning gravel, shelter and boulder availability, or temperature. Flow alterations had limited benefit. Only the scenario where the current minimum flow was set three times higher yielded increased production, and only for trout. Trout dominated salmon in competition, and production was density dependent. The model predicted that the only way to increase production of both species at current spawner numbers was to add instream structures offering more energetically profitable feeding positions.

Abstract [en]

Half the world’s river volume is affected by flow alterations and/or fragmentation –a figure that is likely to increase with the current global surge in hydropower development. Streamflow shapes the river habitat for species like Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and brown trout (S. trutta) –species that need rivers for reproduction and for juvenile rearing. In this thesis, I applied the individual-based model inSTREAM to simulate how salmon and trout interact with the physical and living environment in the Gullspång Rapids, a residual flow stretch in the Gullspång River, Sweden. InSTREAM follows individuals through spawning, egg development, and juvenile rearing until out-migration. I ran simulation experiments over ten years, varying either flow input, the number of spawners, spawning gravel, shelter availability, or temperature. Flow alterations had limited benefit; only in the scenario where the current minimum flow was tripled did production increase, and only for trout. Trout dominated salmon in competition for food and space, and production was density dependent. The model predicted that the only way to increase production of both species at current spawner numbers was to add instream structures offering more energetically profitable feeding positions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstads universitet, 2020. , p. 40
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2020:12
Keywords [en]
Ecohydraulics, Restoration, Natural resource management
National Category
Ecology Other Mathematics Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-76559ISBN: 978-91-7867-095-6 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7867-105-2 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-76559DiVA, id: diva2:1389028
Presentation
2020-03-26, Sjöströmsalen 1B 309, Universitetsgatan 2, 651 88 Karlstad, Karlstads Universitet, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2020-03-05 Created: 2020-01-28 Last updated: 2020-03-05Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Modifying and parameterizing the individual-based model inSTREAM for Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and brown trout (Salmo trutta) in the regulated Gullspång River, Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Modifying and parameterizing the individual-based model inSTREAM for Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and brown trout (Salmo trutta) in the regulated Gullspång River, Sweden
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-76557 (URN)
Available from: 2020-01-28 Created: 2020-01-28 Last updated: 2020-01-28
2. Modeling Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and brown trout (S. trutta) population responses and interactions under increased minimum flow in a regulated river
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Modeling Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and brown trout (S. trutta) population responses and interactions under increased minimum flow in a regulated river
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-76558 (URN)
Available from: 2020-01-28 Created: 2020-01-28 Last updated: 2020-01-28

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Lund Bjørnås, Kristine

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