Patch deletion and persistence of endangered stream fish populations.
Andersen, Mark *,1, Cowley, David1, 1 Department of Fishery and Wildlife Sciences, Las Cruces, NM, USA
ABSTRACT- Metapopulation models have proven useful in conservation biology but are rarely applied to stream-dwelling species, partly at least because of difficulties in formulating such models in a stream environment. We show how these difficulties may be overcome, and present simulation results for a stage-structured metapopulation model for a stream fish with density-dependent fecundity and stage-dependent dispersal rates and directionality. We examine the effects of demographic and dispersal characteristics, and the characteristics of the environmental fluctuations, on population viability. We also examine the effects on viability of patch deletions, specifically loss of a stream reach as habitat due to, for example, dam construction. We conclude that models such as ours can provide useful guidance for the conservative assessment of extinction risk in stream fish metapopulations.
Key words: patch deletion, habitat loss, multiregional model, stream fish conservation
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