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Do in-stream restoration structures enhance salmonid abundance? A meta-analysis

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Abstract:

Despite the widespread use of stream restoration structures to improve fish habitat, few quantitative studies have evaluated their effectiveness. This study uses a meta-analysis approach to test the effectiveness of five types of in-stream restoration structures (weirs, deflectors, cover structures, boulder placement, and large woody debris) on both salmonid abundance and physical habitat characteristics. Compilation of data from 211 stream restoration projects showed a significant increase in pool area, average depth, large woody debris, and percent cover, as well as a decrease in riffle area, following the installation of in-stream structures. There was also a significant increase in salmonid density (mean effect size of 0.51, or 167%) and biomass (mean effect size of 0.48, or 162%) following the installation of structures. Large differences were observed between species, with rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) showing the largest increases in density and biomass. This compilation highlights the potential of in-stream structures to create better habitat for and increase the abundance of salmonids, but the scarcity of long-term monitoring of the effectiveness of in-stream structures is problematic.

Malgré l’utilisation répandue de structures de restauration des cours d’eau pour améliorer les habitats des poissons, peu d’études quantitatives ont évalué leur efficacité. Notre étude emploie une méthode de méta-analyse pour tester l’efficacité de cinq types de structures internes de restauration des cours d’eau (seuils, déflecteurs, structures de couvert, blocs de pierre et grands débris ligneux) sur à la fois l’abondance des salmonidés et les caractéristiques physiques de leur habitat. La compilation des données provenant de 211 projets de restauration de cours d’eau montre une augmentation significative de la surface des fosses, de la profondeur moyenne, des grands débris ligneux et du pourcentage de couvert, ainsi qu’une réduction des zones de courant après l’installation des structures dans le cours d’eau. Il y a aussi une augmentation significative de la densité (importance moyenne de l’effet 0,51, ou 167 %) et de la biomasse (importance moyenne de l’effet 0,48, ou 162 %) des salmonidés après l’installation des structures. Il y a d’importantes différences entre les espèces, mais c’est la truite arc-en-ciel (Oncorhynchus mykiss) qui connaît les augmentations les plus importantes de densité et de biomasse. Cette compilation souligne le potentiel que présentent les structures internes pour fournir un meilleur habitat pour les salmonidés et pour augmenter leur abondance; il reste cependant le problème qu’il y a peu de surveillance à long terme de l’efficacité de ces structures internes.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2010

More about this publication?
  • 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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