A paleoscience approach to estimating the effects of climatic warming on salmonid fisheries of the Columbia River Basin
A paleoscience approach to estimating the effects of climatic warming on salmonid fisheries of the Columbia River Basin To understand how climatic warming might affect salmonid populations, we are following a four-step procedure, incorporating paleoenvironmental data at the beginning and ending points, as follows. First, we used geomorphic, paleobotanical, and paleomalacological data to reconstruct stream conditions during the last 8000 years. Second, we estimated the effect on salmon of conditions extant approximately 6000 to 7000 radiocarbon years before present (B.P.), when temperatures were as much as 2[degrees]C warmer than at present. This became an analog of future warmer climate and its effects on spawning, incubation, and rearing parameters of the NPPC's Tributary Parameter Model (TPM) for estimating salmoned production. Third, we ran the TPM in conjunction with the NPPC System Planning Model (SPM) to calculate the effect of these analog conditions on the population of returning adult fish in selected stream systems. Ultimately, we will run the models for all salmon-accessible subbasins of the Columbia River system. Finally, we are identifying fish remains obtained from archaeological sites along the Columbia River to compare variations in the taxonomic composition of ancient fish assemblages with model predictions.
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