Presentation Title

Flood control structures in tidal creeks associated with reduction in nursery potential for native fishes and creation of hot-spots for invasive species

Session Title

Flood Management, Climate Adaptation and the Environment in the Salish Sea

Conference Track

Climate Change and Ocean Acidification

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2016 : Vancouver, B.C.)

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Presenter/Author Information

David Scott MRMFollow

Type of Presentation

Oral

Abstract

Habitat connectivity is important for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem processes, yet globally is highly restricted by anthropogenic actions. Anthropogenic barriers are common in aquatic ecosystems; however, the effects of small-scale barriers such as floodgates have received relatively little study. We assessed fish communities in ten tributaries over the spring-summer season of the lower Fraser River (British Columbia, Canada), five with floodgates and five reference sites without barriers, located primarily in agricultural land use areas. While the Fraser River supports the largest salmon runs in Canada, the lower Fraser river-floodplain ecosystem has numerous dikes and floodgates to protect valuable agricultural and urban developments. Floodgate presence was associated with reduced dissolved oxygen concentrations, three-fold greater abundance of invasive fish species, and decreased abundances of five native fish species including two salmon species. These findings provide evidence that floodgates decrease suitable habitat for native fishes, and become hotspots for non-native species. Given climate change, sea-level rise, and aging flood protection infrastructure, there is an opportunity to incorporate biodiversity considerations into further development or restoration of this infrastructure.

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

Type

Text

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Flood control structures in tidal creeks associated with reduction in nursery potential for native fishes and creation of hot-spots for invasive species

2016SSEC

Habitat connectivity is important for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem processes, yet globally is highly restricted by anthropogenic actions. Anthropogenic barriers are common in aquatic ecosystems; however, the effects of small-scale barriers such as floodgates have received relatively little study. We assessed fish communities in ten tributaries over the spring-summer season of the lower Fraser River (British Columbia, Canada), five with floodgates and five reference sites without barriers, located primarily in agricultural land use areas. While the Fraser River supports the largest salmon runs in Canada, the lower Fraser river-floodplain ecosystem has numerous dikes and floodgates to protect valuable agricultural and urban developments. Floodgate presence was associated with reduced dissolved oxygen concentrations, three-fold greater abundance of invasive fish species, and decreased abundances of five native fish species including two salmon species. These findings provide evidence that floodgates decrease suitable habitat for native fishes, and become hotspots for non-native species. Given climate change, sea-level rise, and aging flood protection infrastructure, there is an opportunity to incorporate biodiversity considerations into further development or restoration of this infrastructure.