• Forest harvest;
  • temperature;
  • stream warming;
  • basin scale

Merten EC, Hemstad NA, Eggert SL, Johnson LB, Kolka RK, Newman RM, Vondracek B. Relations between fish abundances, summer temperatures, and forest harvest in a northern Minnesota stream system from 1997 to 2007. Ecology of Freshwater Fish 2010: 19: 63–73. 2009 John Wiley & Sons A/S

Abstract –  Short-term effects of forest harvest on fish habitat have been well documented, including sediment inputs, leaf litter reductions, and stream warming. However, few studies have considered changes in local climate when examining postlogging changes in fish communities. To address this need, we examined fish abundances between 1997 and 2007 in a basin in a northern hardwood forest. Streams in the basin were subjected to experimental riparian forest harvest in fall 1997. We noted a significant decrease for fish index of biotic integrity and abundance of Salvelinus fontinalis and Phoxinus eos over the study period. However, for P. eos and Culaea inconstans, the temporal patterns in abundances were related more to summer air temperatures than to fine sediment or spring precipitation when examined using multiple regressions. Univariate regressions suggested that summer air temperatures influenced temporal patterns in fish communities more than fine sediment or spring precipitation.