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Title: Multiscale modelling to assess the impacts of flow regulation on Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar L., habitat in Scottish rivers
Author: Buddendorf, Willem Bastiaan
ISNI:       0000 0004 7961 2404
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2019
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Minimizing impacts of river regulation in Scotland's rivers is of key importance because they host an internationally important population of Atlantic salmon Salmo salar L. Costly restoration efforts need to be regarded in a broad context to optimize resource allocation. A transferable framework was developed to inform management and conservation at different spatial scales. At reach scales, regulation effects varied within reaches and between seasons. Flow alteration influenced habitat quality variably depending on its type and the time of year. Variability in discharge and hydraulic habitat quality did not follow similar patterns, suggesting that using discharge variability as a proxy for habitat quality should be done with care. At a catchment scale, the importance of including information on habitat quality in assessing regulation impacts on longitudinal river connectivity was highlighted by scenarios where losing a smaller area of productive habitat could have a larger impact than losing a greater area that is less suitable. At a national scale, if only impassable manmade barriers (IMBs) were considered, high levels of longitudinal connectivity were observed. However, sensitivity to the passability of passable manmade barriers (PMBs) on catchment connectivity indicates a better understanding of the passability of PMBs is important for future management of migration barriers. There was only weak evidence that inter-annual variability in stream temperature and discharge regimes affected the run timing characteristics of spring and autumn emigrations. Yet, long-term trend analysis of run timing suggested the middle and end of emigration runs are influenced by temperature and discharge. Migration appears to be controlled by a complex set of environmental triggers, potentially operating over time scales that are challenging to characterise with seasonal regime and long-term trend analyses. It may be difficult to develop simple flow standards to facilitate juvenile migration without improved understanding of effects of short term variability.
Supervisor: Soulsby, Chris ; Geris, Josie ; Malcolm, Iain A. ; Wilkinson, Mark Sponsor: Scottish Goverment Hydro Nation Scholars Programme
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Atlantic salmon ; Rivers ; Multiscale modeling