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Effects of road crossings on habitat connectivity for stream-resident fish

Diebel, M.W., Fedora, M.A., Cogswell, S., O'Hanley, J.R. (2015) Effects of road crossings on habitat connectivity for stream-resident fish. River Research and Applications, 31 (10). pp. 1251-1261. E-ISSN 1535-1467. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:46453)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)

Abstract

Road crossings can act as barriers to the movement of stream fishes, resulting in habitat fragmentation, reduced population resilience to environmental disturbance and higher risks of extinction. Strategic barrier removal has the potential to improve connectivity in stream networks, but managers lack a consistent framework for determining which projects will most benefit target species. The objective of this study is to develop a method for identifying and prioritizing action on road crossings in order to restore stream network connectivity. We demonstrate the method using a case study from the Pine-Popple watershed in Wisconsin. First, we propose a new metric for quantifying stream connectivity status for stream-resident fish. The metric quantifies the individual and cumulative effects of barriers on reach and watershed level connectivity, while accounting for natural barriers, distance-based dispersal limitations and variation in habitat type and quality. We conducted a comprehensive field survey of road crossings in the watershed to identify barriers and estimate replacement costs. Of the 190 surveyed road crossings, 74% were determined to be barriers to the movement of at least one species or life stage of fish, primarily due to high water velocity, low water depth or outlet drops. The results of the barrier removal prioritization show that initial projects targeted for mitigation create much greater improvements in connectivity per unit cost than later projects. Benefit–cost curves from this type of analysis can be used to evaluate potential projects within and among watersheds and minimize overall expenditures for specified restoration targets.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH75 Conservation (Biology)
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > Kent Business School > Management Science
Faculties > Social Sciences > Kent Business School > Centre for Logistics and Heuristic Organisation (CLHO)
Depositing User: Jesse O'Hanley
Date Deposited: 05 Jan 2015 13:28 UTC
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2020 04:11 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/46453 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
O'Hanley, J.R.: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3522-8585
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