, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 283-290

Effects of forestry on the thermal habitat of Dolly Varden (Salvelinus malma)

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Forestry activities in riparian areas are known to affect stream communities considerably. Not only do riparian deforestation resulting from agriculture or urbanization developments affect stream communities but extensive commercial plantation and forestry practices can alter stream environments adjacent to remaining, intact or secondary forests. Because forestry often includes the construction of logging roads through the riparian zone, this can directly degrade stream environments. Twelve streams in the Shiretoko Peninsula, Hokkaido were investigated so as to determine the effects of forestry practices on stream temperature, periphyton biomass, grazer (benthic invertebrates) biomass and Dolly Varden (Salvelinus malma Walbaum) biomass. The greater the proportion of planted area in the catchment, the higher the stream temperature. Stream temperature directly affects periphyton biomass and Dolly Varden biomass negatively. Neither stream temperature nor periphyton biomass predicted grazer biomass, whereas a positive correlation was found between grazer biomass and Dolly Varden biomass that forage on invertebrates. The overall results indicated that Dolly Varden in the Shiretoko streams were negatively affected by forestry practices and the resultant stream temperature increases. Without effective future riparian forest management, the complex effects of both riparian disturbance and ongoing global warming could further reduce Dolly Varden populations in the region.