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Analysis of trade-offs between threats of invasion by nonnative brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) and intentional isolation for native westslope cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii lewisi)

January 1, 2008

Native salmonid fishes often face simultaneous threats from habitat fragmentation and invasion by nonnative trout species. Unfortunately, management actions to address one may create or exacerbate the other. A consistent decision process would include a systematic analysis of when and where intentional use or removal of barriers is the most appropriate action. We developed a Bayesian belief network as a tool for such analyses. We focused on native westslope cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii lewisi) and nonnative brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) and considered the environmental factors influencing both species, their potential interactions, and the effects of isolation on the persistence of local cutthroat trout populations. The trade-offs between isolation and invasion were strongly influenced by size and habitat quality of the stream network to be isolated and existing demographic linkages within and among populations. An application of the model in several sites in western Montana (USA) showed the process could help clarify management objectives and options and prioritize conservation actions among streams. The approach can also facilitate communication among parties concerned with native salmonids, nonnative fish invasions, barriers and intentional isolation, and management of the associated habitats and populations. ?? 2008 NRC.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2008
Title Analysis of trade-offs between threats of invasion by nonnative brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) and intentional isolation for native westslope cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii lewisi)
DOI 10.1139/F07-184
Authors D.P. Peterson, B.E. Rieman, J.B. Dunham, K.D. Fausch, M.K. Young
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Series Number
Index ID 70032162
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center