SS3.18 Habitat Coupling in Lakes
Date: Thursday, June 13, 2002
Time: 10:30:00 AM
Location: Esquimalt
 
DokaSE, McMaster University & DFO, Burlington, Ontario, Canada, dokas@dfo-mpo.gc.ca
Minns, C, K, Fisheries & Oceans Canada, Burlington, Ontario, Canada, minnsk@dfo-mpo.gc.ca
 
A SPATIALLY-EXPLICIT, HABITAT-BASED MODELLING APPROACH FOR LACUSTRINE FISH POPULATIONS
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A modelling approach has been developed that incorporates the spatial and temporal variability of physical habitat and its effect on the population dynamics of fish. This approach was tested in an embayment of the Great Lakes that includes spawning and nursery grounds for a commercially important fish species, the yellow perch. Data on bathymetry, substrate composition, macrophytes, temperature and wind exposure were combined in a GIS using remote sensing and field data. These variables were linked directly, or indirectly though habitat suitability indices, to the vital rates of the perch population at different life stages with different habitat requirements. An analysis of the early life history stages and their habitat interactions in space and time shows how habitat can be limiting to annual population dynamics.