Data from a paired-catchment study in south coastal British Columbia, Canada, were analyzed to assess the thermal effects of clearcut harvesting with no riparian buffer on a fish-bearing headwater stream. The approach used time series of daily mean water temperatures for East Creek (control) and A Creek (treatment), both before and after harvest. Statistical models were developed to predict (a) what the temperatures would have been in the post-harvest period had harvesting not occurred, and (b) what temperatures would have been in the pre-harvest period had harvesting already occurred. The Wisconsin Bioenergetics Model was used to simulate growth of coastal cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki clarki) for the first year following fry emergence using the predicted and observed stream temperatures to generate scenarios representing with-harvest and no-harvest thermal regimes. A Monte Carlo approach was used to quantify the effects of uncertainty associated with the regression models on predicted stream temperature and trout growth. Summer daily mean temperatures in the with-harvest scenario were up to $$5^{\circ}\hbox{C}$$ higher than those for the no-harvest scenario. Harvesting-induced warming reduced growth rates during summer, but increased growth rates during autumn and spring. In the with-harvest scenario, trout were 0.2–2.0 g (absolute weight) smaller throughout the winter period than in the no-harvest scenario. However, the bioenergetic simulations suggest that trout growth may be more sensitive to potential changes in food supply following harvesting than to direct impacts of stream temperature changes.

Full Text

Published Version
Open DOI Link

Get access to 115M+ research papers

Discover from 40M+ Open access, 2M+ Pre-prints, 9.5M Topics and 32K+ Journals.

Sign Up Now! It's FREE

Talk to us

Join us for a 30 min session where you can share your feedback and ask us any queries you have

Schedule a call