Recent Advances in Establishing Fish-Habitat Relationships in Lotic Systems

Fish-habitat relationships are used to translate habitat into fish performance that can be used to design and evaluate restoration approaches, identify and prioritize management strategies, and improve our understanding of fish ecology.  Recent advances in data collection and analytical approaches provide an opportunity to test basic underlying mechanisms and the robustness of our understanding of the habitat requirements of fish.   In this symposium, we will explore both mechanistic and empirical approaches to evaluate habitat influences on behavior, growth, survival, abundance, and production of fishes.  We intend to cover mechanistic models designed to understand how fish respond to habitat characteristics such as flow, depth, food, temperature, and cover within or across a reach or reaches.  This approach may include bioenergetics, individual-based, habitat suitability, competition, and predation models. A mechanistic understanding improves our ability to extrapolate to other systems and evaluate alternative scenarios of habitat configurations.   We also intent to explore empirical approaches such as structural equation, hierarchical, spatial autocorrelation, regression tree, and multivariate models to examine these relationships, often taking advantage of information generated from large-scale monitoring programs.  These approaches can be computationally efficient and potentially predictive when dealing with large data sets, and can generate hypotheses for further investigation.  We expect that these approaches will become useful for both basic research and management for the broader community.
Nick Bouwes and Keith van den Broek
Nick Bouwes, Chris Jordan and Keith van den Broek
See more of: Symposium Entries