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Assessment of the transferability of biological habitat models for Atlantic salmon parr (Salmo salar)

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Abstract:

We assessed the transferability of the habitat suitability index (HSI) and the habitat probabilistic index (HPI) between two rivers. Transferability was measured by the ability of HSI and HPI models developed in the Sainte-Marguerite River to predict the distribution of Atlantic salmon parr (Salmo salar) in the Escoumins River. HSI and HPI were based on the pattern of utilization by fish of water depth, current velocity, and substrate size. HSI was developed using the preference curve approach, and HPI was developed using a multiple logistic regression. Predicted values of HSI and HPI in Escoumins River ranged from 0 (poor habitat) to 1 (excellent habitat). Fish density in habitat patches assigned different HSI or HPI values ranged from 0 to 1 fish·100 m–2. Only HPI adequately predicted local variations in parr density (r2 = 0.84) in habitat patches of Escoumins River. Our results suggest that HSI is less transferable between rivers than HPI. Differences in substrate size between the two rivers is suspected to impede the transferability of the HSI model. We also argue that the mathematical structure of HPI provides a larger degree of flexibility that facilitates its transferability and its potential generalization.

Nous avons évalué la transférabilité d'un indice de qualité d'habitat (IQH) et d'un indice probabiliste d'habitat (IPH) entre deux rivières. Nous avons mesuré la transférabilité de ces deux modèles biologiques développés dans la rivière Sainte-Marguerite par leur habileté à prédire la distribution des tacons de saumon atlantique (Salmo salar) dans la rivière Escoumins. Le développement de l'IQH et de l'IPH repose sur les patrons d'utilisation par les tacons de la profondeur de l'eau, de la vitesse du courant et de la taille du substrat. L'IQH a été établi selon l'approche des courbes de préférence tandis que l'IPH a été construit en utilisant la régression logistique multiple. Les valeurs prédites d'IQH et d'IPH dans la rivière Escoumins ont varié entre 0 (mauvais habitat) à 1 (excellent habitat). Les densités de tacons dans les parcelles d'habitat auxquelles ont été attribuées différentes valeurs d'IQH ou d'IPH ont varié entre 0 et 1 tacon·100 m–2. Le modèle numérique d'habitat utilisant l'IPH a été le seul qui a permis de prédire la distribution des tacons (r2 = 0,84) dans les parcelles d'habitat de la rivière Escoumins. Nos résultats suggèrent que l'IQH est plus sensible au processus de transférabilité que peut l'être l'IPH. La différence de la taille du substrat entre les deux rivières semble empêcher la transférabilité de l'IQH. Nous avançons que la structure mathématique de l'IPH fournit un degré de flexibilité plus grand, ce qui facilite sa transférabilité et sa généralisation potentielle.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2003

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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