Honors College Thesis


Assessing Annelid Habitat Suitability in the Lower Klamath River Basin Public Deposited

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  • This study assessed suitability of annelid habitats under current baseflow conditions and evaluated the mobility of suitable annelid substrates under a 2-year peak flushing flow. Outputs from a 2020 Bureau of Reclamation SRH-2D model were combined with field measurements of annelid presence/absence and habitat variables including depth, velocity and d50, then applied in a PHABSIM-style habitat suitability analysis. Relative parameter importance was determined by comparing the locations with the highest predicted suitability for each parameter to the location of the known Ceratonova shasta infectious zone. Preliminary results indicate that neither depth or velocity individually predicted the location of the hyper infectious zone with base flow conditions, underscoring the importance of using more complex models to predict annelid habitat. Additionally, results indicated only low suitability fine sediments were mobilized at 6,000 cfs (current flushing flow releases). This result suggests that mechanical damage or scour, rather reductions in sediment-habitat suitability may explain why annelids have decreased following surface flushing flows. Findings may also point to the limitations of using suitability based on hydraulic factors alone to predict annelid presence and could suggest the importance of other factors such as food availability or water temperature for annelid habitat suitability.
  • Key Words: rivers, annelids, salmon, aquatic ecology, ecological restoration, modeling
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