The study aims to set out a new methodology for habitat modeling in high gradient streams. The methodology is based on the meso-scale approach of the MesoHABSIM simulation system and can support the definition and assessment of environmental flow and habitat restoration measures. Data coming from 40 study sites located within the mountainous areas of the Valle d'Aosta, Piemonte and Liguria regions (NW Italy) are used in the analysis. To adapt MesoHABSIM to high gradient streams, we first modified the data collection strategy to address the challenging conditions of surveys by using GIS and mobile mapping techniques. Secondly, we built the habitat suitability models at a regional scale to enable their transferability among different streams with different morphologies. Thirdly, due to the absence of stream gauges in headwaters, we proposed a possible way to simulate flow time series and, therefore, generate habitat time series. The resulting method is evaluated in terms of time expenditure for field data collection and habitat modeling potentials, and it represents a specific improvement of the MesoHABSIM system for habitat modelling in high gradient streams, where other commonly used methodologies can be unsuitable. Through its application in several study sites, the proposed methodology adapts well to high gradient streams and allows: (1) definition of fish habitat requirements for many streams simultaneously, (2) modeling of habitat variation over a range of discharges, and (3) determination of environmental standards for mountainous watercourses.

Habitat modeling in high gradient streams: the meso-scale approach and application / Vezza, Paolo; Parasiewicz, P.; Spairani, M.; Comoglio, Claudio. - In: ECOLOGICAL APPLICATIONS. - ISSN 1051-0761. - STAMPA. - 24:4(2014), pp. 844-861. [10.1890/11-2066.1]

Habitat modeling in high gradient streams: the meso-scale approach and application

VEZZA, PAOLO;COMOGLIO, Claudio
2014

Abstract

The study aims to set out a new methodology for habitat modeling in high gradient streams. The methodology is based on the meso-scale approach of the MesoHABSIM simulation system and can support the definition and assessment of environmental flow and habitat restoration measures. Data coming from 40 study sites located within the mountainous areas of the Valle d'Aosta, Piemonte and Liguria regions (NW Italy) are used in the analysis. To adapt MesoHABSIM to high gradient streams, we first modified the data collection strategy to address the challenging conditions of surveys by using GIS and mobile mapping techniques. Secondly, we built the habitat suitability models at a regional scale to enable their transferability among different streams with different morphologies. Thirdly, due to the absence of stream gauges in headwaters, we proposed a possible way to simulate flow time series and, therefore, generate habitat time series. The resulting method is evaluated in terms of time expenditure for field data collection and habitat modeling potentials, and it represents a specific improvement of the MesoHABSIM system for habitat modelling in high gradient streams, where other commonly used methodologies can be unsuitable. Through its application in several study sites, the proposed methodology adapts well to high gradient streams and allows: (1) definition of fish habitat requirements for many streams simultaneously, (2) modeling of habitat variation over a range of discharges, and (3) determination of environmental standards for mountainous watercourses.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11583/2518629
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