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Hydrologic resilience from summertime fog and recharge: A case study for coho salmon recovery planning

November 20, 2019

Fog and low cloud cover (FLCC) and late summer recharge increase stream baseflow and decrease stream temperature during arid Mediterranean climate summers, which benefits salmon especially under climate warming conditions. The potential to discharge cool water to streams during the late summer (hydrologic capacity; HC) furnished by FLCC and recharge were mapped for the 299 subwatersheds ranked Core, Phase 1, or Phase 2 under the National Marine Fisheries Service Recovery Plan that prioritized restoration and threat abatement action for endangered Central California Coast Coho Salmon evolutionarily significant unit. Two spatially continuous gridded datasets were merged to compare HC: average hrs/day FLCC, a new dataset derived from a decade of hourly National Weather Satellite data, and annual average mm recharge from the USGS Basin Characterization Model. Two use‐case scenarios provide examples of incorporating FLCC‐driven HC indices into long‐term recovery planning. The first, a thermal analysis under future climate, projected 65% of the watershed area for 8–19 coho population units as thermally inhospitable under two global climate models and identified several units with high resilience (high HC under the range of projected warming conditions). The second use case investigated HC by subwatershed rank and coho population, and identified three population units with high HC in areas ranked Phase 1 and 2 and low HC in Core. Recovery planning for cold‐water fish species would benefit by including FLCC in vulnerability analyses.

Publication Year 2020
Title Hydrologic resilience from summertime fog and recharge: A case study for coho salmon recovery planning
DOI 10.1111/1752-1688.12811
Authors Alicia Torregrosa, Lorraine E. Flint, Alan L. Flint
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of the American Water Resources Association
Index ID 70208803
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Western Geographic Science Center