Assessing and modeling within and among stream variability in insect drift availability of western Newfoundland streams
Insect drift abundance in streams influences growth and survival of juvenile Atlantic salmon. The proposed research will examine the distribution and abundance of stream insect drift within and among streams in western Newfoundland flowing into the Bay of Islands (near Corner Brook). This variability will be combined with site and reach level steam, riparian and basin characteristics (collected at each site for local scale and from digital landscape images for reach and basin scale) to construct a geospatial model of juvenile stream habitat based on Bayesian and random forest modelling procedures. Riparian zone vegetation composition is a factor that influences drift production and will be one of the variables we examine in assessing drift variability. Climate change will likely influence the composition of riparian zones in Boreal ecosystems. We will use predicted changes to Boreal riparian zone composition to model possible changes to stream drift variability.
Dr. Robert Scott
709 639 2732