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A three-dimensional model for analyzing the effects of salmon redds on hyporheic exchange and egg pocket habitat

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A three-dimensional fluid dynamics model is developed to capture the spatial complexity of the effects of salmon redds on channel hydraulics, hyporheic exchange, and egg pocket habitat. We use the model to partition the relative influences of redd topography versus altered hydraulic conductivity (winnowing of fines during spawning) on egg pocket conditions for a simulated pool–riffle channel with a redd placed at the pool tail. Predictions show that altered hydraulic conductivity is the primary factor for enhancing hyporheic velocities and dissolved oxygen content within the egg pocket. Furthermore, the simulations indicate that redds induce hyporheic circulation that is nested within that caused by pool–riffle topography and that spawning-related changes in hyporheic velocities and dissolved oxygen content could create conditions suitable for incubation in locations that otherwise would be unfavorable (reinforcing the notion that salmonids actively modify their environment in ways that may be beneficial to their progeny).

Nous mettons au point un modèle tridimensionnel de dynamique des fluides afin de capturer la complexité spatiale des effets des frayères à saumons sur l’hydraulique du chenal, les échanges hyporhéiques et l’habitat des poches d’œufs. Le modèle nous sert à départager l’influence relative de la topographie des frayères par rapport à celle de la conductivité hydraulique altérée (la séparation des particules fines durant la fraie) sur les conditions des poches d’œufs dans un canal expérimental simulant une alternance de zones profonde et rapide et possédant une frayère placée à l’aval de la zone profonde. Les prédictions montrent que le changement de conductivité hydraulique est le facteur principal qui augmente les vitesses hyporhéiques et le contenu en oxygène dissous au sein de la poche des œufs. De plus, les simulations indiquent que les frayères produisent une circulation hyporhéique qui est emboîtée dans celle causée par la topographie des zones profonde et rapide; les changements reliés à la fraie dans la vitesse hyporhéique et le contenu en oxygène dissous pourraient créer des conditions adéquates pour l’incubation dans des sites qui seraient par ailleurs inadéquats (ce qui renforce la notion que les salmonidés modifient activement leur environnement selon des modes qui peuvent être bénéfiques à leurs rejetons).

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2009

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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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