Is interstitial velocity a good predictor of salmonid embryo survival?

I. A. Malcolm, A. F. Youngson, C. Soulsby, C. Imholt, R. J. Fryer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Interstitial velocity within spawning bed substrates is frequently used to predict salmonid embryo survival and often forms the basis of habitat assessment or sediment-based predictive models. In this study, the relationships between interstitial velocity, hyporheic dissolved oxygen (DO), and survival of Atlantic salmon Salmo salar embryos were examined in an experimental field study that incorporated natural complexity in the hyporheic environment. Hyporheic DO and interstitial velocity were not clearly related over the observed range of velocities. There was strong evidence of a relationship between survival and DO but only weak evidence of a relationship with interstitial velocity. Conceptual models of hyporheic environmental variation and salmonid embryo survival should include the appropriate range of environmental processes. Given the findings of this study, we suggest that interstitial velocity should not be used to assess or predict spawning habitat quality; direct measurements of DO offer a more defensible approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)898-904
Number of pages7
JournalTransactions of the American Fisheries Society
Volume140
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011

Keywords

  • surface water interactions
  • Atlantic salmon
  • incubation survival
  • spawning locations
  • habitat quality
  • rainbow-trout
  • upland stream
  • sea-trout
  • flow
  • oxygen

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