Assessing the impact of instream barriers and climate change on wild Atlantic salmon population persistence and production in forested boreal watersheds.
Instream barriers such as culverts can act to impede fish movement and disrupts ecological connectivity reducing the availability of suitable habitat. In addition, altering fish assemblages, reduces population resilience to environmental disturbance and reduces genetic mixing. In Newfoundland, well over 17,000 potential barriers exist, potentially fragmenting thousands of kilometers of fish habitats. The added stress of global warming in northern environments intensifies the vulnerability of northern fishes to habitat fragmentation and impacts arising from instream devices. The purpose of this project is to provide a comprehensive understanding of the cumulative effect of road placement, instream barriers and climate change on wild Atlantic salmon population persistence and accessibility of suitable habitat (productivity). Secondly, this knowledge will be used to develop a novel assessment methodology and decision making framework to enable conservation authorities to assess the vulnerability of populations and habitats and to guide implementation of barrier removal or mitigation strategies in a real workshop environment.
Contact: Dr. Michael van Zyll de Jong, 709-639-2702, email@example.com