Event Title

Colorado River Cutthroat Trout Habitat Resiliency to Climate Change

Presenter Information

Kate Olsen

Location

ECC 216

Event Website

http://water.usu.edu/

Start Date

4-3-2012 5:20 PM

End Date

4-3-2012 5:25 PM

Description

Colorado River cutthroat trout (CRCT), Oncorhyncus clarki pleuriticus, currently occupy less than 12% of their historic range. Cutthroat trout, metabolically driven by temperature, rely heavily on the cold-water of their native habitat. Climate change is increasing the earth’s temperature at speeds faster than historically experienced. Shifts in thermal distribution of fish have already been documented. Impacts are predicted to reduce suitable habitat in the Rocky Mountains by 50%. Of currently occupied CRCT habitat, 29% is at high risk to climate change threats. The goal of this work is to determine if GIS metrics can be used to predict streams that will be resilient to warming air temperatures. Fisheries managers will then be able to consider resilience to climate change when prioritizing CRCT restoration and conservation projects. Cluster analysis identified four unique sites and four groups. Analysis used summary statistics of six GIS-derived habitat characteristics that relate to the resilience of water temperature. Along with the four unique sites, 46 sites were selected randomly and proportionally from each group. Temperature data loggers have been deployed to these 50 sites across the Upper Colorado River basin. Each site has three loggers: one in the water, one in the riparian zone and one 100 meters upland. Deploying loggers at three locations will enable us to better understand the relationships between air and water temperatures and between two air locations. Resilience of stream temperature to climate change will be determined through the collection of coupled air and water temperature data. Analysis will be completed to determine which streams’ water temperatures remain steady despite fluctuating air temperatures. The habitat characteristics of these streams will hopefully provide insight into stream resilience. This information will aid fisheries managers in prioritizing CRCT restoration and conservation with considerations of resilience to climate change.

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Apr 3rd, 5:20 PM Apr 3rd, 5:25 PM

Colorado River Cutthroat Trout Habitat Resiliency to Climate Change

ECC 216

Colorado River cutthroat trout (CRCT), Oncorhyncus clarki pleuriticus, currently occupy less than 12% of their historic range. Cutthroat trout, metabolically driven by temperature, rely heavily on the cold-water of their native habitat. Climate change is increasing the earth’s temperature at speeds faster than historically experienced. Shifts in thermal distribution of fish have already been documented. Impacts are predicted to reduce suitable habitat in the Rocky Mountains by 50%. Of currently occupied CRCT habitat, 29% is at high risk to climate change threats. The goal of this work is to determine if GIS metrics can be used to predict streams that will be resilient to warming air temperatures. Fisheries managers will then be able to consider resilience to climate change when prioritizing CRCT restoration and conservation projects. Cluster analysis identified four unique sites and four groups. Analysis used summary statistics of six GIS-derived habitat characteristics that relate to the resilience of water temperature. Along with the four unique sites, 46 sites were selected randomly and proportionally from each group. Temperature data loggers have been deployed to these 50 sites across the Upper Colorado River basin. Each site has three loggers: one in the water, one in the riparian zone and one 100 meters upland. Deploying loggers at three locations will enable us to better understand the relationships between air and water temperatures and between two air locations. Resilience of stream temperature to climate change will be determined through the collection of coupled air and water temperature data. Analysis will be completed to determine which streams’ water temperatures remain steady despite fluctuating air temperatures. The habitat characteristics of these streams will hopefully provide insight into stream resilience. This information will aid fisheries managers in prioritizing CRCT restoration and conservation with considerations of resilience to climate change.

https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/runoff/2012/Posters/8