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Keywords:

  • mountain sucker;
  • GIS;
  • distribution modeling;
  • logistic regression;
  • presence–absence;
  • brown trout;
  • aquatic conservation;
  • Black Hills

Abstract

  • 1.
    Conservation biologists need tools that can utilize existing data to identify areas with the appropriate habitat for species of conservation concern. Regression models that predict suitable habitat from geospatial data are such a tool. Multiple logistic regression models developed from existing geospatial data were used to identify large-scale stream characteristics associated with the occurrence of mountain suckers (Catostomus platyrhynchus), a species of conservation concern, in the Black Hills National Forest, South Dakota and Wyoming, USA.
  • 2.
    Stream permanence, stream slope, stream order, and elevation interacted in complex ways to influence the occurrence of mountain suckers. Mountain suckers were more likely to be present in perennial streams, and in larger, higher gradient streams at higher elevations but in smaller, lower gradient streams at lower elevations.
  • 3.
    Applying the logistic regression model to all streams provided a way to identify streams in the Black Hills National Forest most likely to have mountain suckers present. These types of models and predictions can be used to prioritize areas that should be surveyed to locate additional populations, identify stream segments within catchments for population monitoring, aid managers in assessing whether proposed forest management will potentially have impacts on fish populations, and identify streams most suitable for stream rehabilitation and conservation or translocation efforts.
  • 4.
    When the effect of large brown trout (Salmo trutta) was added to the best model of abiotic factors, it had a negative effect on the occurrence of mountain suckers. Negative effects of brown trout on the mountain sucker suggest that management of recreational trout fisheries needs to be balanced with mountain sucker conservation in the Black Hills. However, more spatially explicit information on brown trout abundance would allow managers to understand where the two species interact and where recreational fisheries need to be balanced with fish conservation.

Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.