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Overwintering habitat use of shortnose sturgeon (Acipenser brevirostrum): defining critical habitat using a novel underwater video survey and modeling approach

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Abstract:

The overwintering habitat use of shortnose sturgeon (Acipenser brevirostrum) was investigated from January to March 2005 in the upper Kennebecasis River, New Brunswick, Canada, using a novel underwater video camera system and modeling approach. Following a random sampling procedure, 187 holes were drilled into the ice, and 234 sturgeon were counted and video-recorded. We found that sturgeon concentrated in a 2 ha area at the confluence of the Kennebecasis and Hammond rivers on a flat sandy substrate at a depth of 3.1–6.9 m. Generalized linear models were developed to describe the relationship of shortnose sturgeon density and habitat variables. The model indicated that the shortnose sturgeon had significant preference to deeper areas within this region. The total abundance of shortnose sturgeon in the area was estimated to be 4836 ± 69 (mean ± standard error) using the ordinary kriging method to interpolate sturgeon density at unsampled sites. This overwintering habitat of shortnose sturgeon can be defined as critical habitat following the identification policies of the Canadian Species at Risk Act (SARA).

Nous avons étudié l'utilisation de l'habitat en hiver chez l'esturgeon à museau court (Acipenser brevirostrum) de janvier à mars 2005 dans le cours supérieur de la Kennebecasis, Nouveau-Brunswick, Canada, à l'aide d'un système nouveau de caméra vidéo et avec une approche de modélisation. Après un échantillonnage aléatoire, nous avons percé 187 trous dans la glace et énuméré et filmé 234 esturgeons. Les esturgeons se concentrent sur une surface de 2 ha au confluent des rivières Kennebecasis et Hammond sur un substrat plat et sablonneux à une profondeur de 3,1–6,9 m. Nous avons mis au point des modèles linéaires généralisés pour décrire la relation entre la densité des esturgeons à museau court et les variables de l'habitat. Le modèle indique que les esturgeons montrent une préférence significative pour les zones les plus profondes dans cette région. Nous estimons l'abondance totale des esturgeons à museau court dans la région à 4836 ± 69 (moyenne ± écart type) en utilisant la méthode ordinaire de krigage pour interpoler les densités de saumons aux sites non échantillonnés. Cet habitat d'hiver de l'esturgeon à museau court peut être désigné comme habitat essentiel d'après les critères d'identification de la loi canadienne sur les espèces en péril (LEP, « SARA »).[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-09-01

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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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