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Context-dependent responses of juvenile Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) to forestry activities at multiple spatial scales within a river basin

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Abstract:

We used classification trees and regression trees to relate the incidence and density of juvenile Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) to forestry activities measured at four spatial scales (subbasin and 8, 2, and 0.5 km radii upstream of study sites) and environmental features in 120 stream reaches of the Cascapedia River basin, Québec, Canada. At all scales, incidence increased with reach size and accessibility to the reach from the river mainstem. Incidence declined with areal coverage of logging at all scales, but only in larger reaches. The time horizon over which logging effects were detected increased with spatial scale. At all scales, density in salmon-bearing reaches increased with accessibility. Density in more accessible reaches was negatively related to logging over the preceding 9 years at the subbasin and 8 km scales, but no effects of logging on density were detected at the 2 and 0.5 km scales. Overall, apparent effects of logging activities on salmon incidence and density were mostly negative and strong, but were both markedly scale-dependent and conditional on environmental context.

Nous avons utilisé les arbres de classification et de régression pour relier l'incidence et la densité de saumons de l'Atlantique (Salmo salar) à l'environnement et aux activités forestières quantifiées à quatre échelles spatiales (le sous-bassin et des rayons de 8, 2 et 0,5 km en amont de chaque tronçon) dans 120 tronçons du bassin versant de la rivière Cascapédia, Québec, Canada. A toutes les échelles, l'incidence du saumon augmentait avec la taille des tronçons et l'accessibilité depuis la rivière principale et diminuait avec une augmentation du pourcentage de superficie coupée. Les effets des coupes étaient détectables sur des horizons temporels croissants avec l'augmentation de l'échelle spatiale. La densité de saumons augmentait avec l'accessibilité à toutes les échelles. Dans les tronçons plus accessibles, la densité diminuait avec une augmentation du pourcentage de superficie coupé au cours des 9 années précédentes aux deux plus grandes échelles du sous-bassin et de 8 km. Aucun effet des coupes sur la densité de saumons n'était détectable aux deux plus petites échelles de 2 et 0,5 km. Les effets apparents des coupes sur l'incidence et la densité de saumons juvéniles étaient forts et négatifs, mais dépendant de l'échelle spatiale et du contexte environnemental.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-08-01

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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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