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Water 2016, 8(4), 121; doi:10.3390/w8040121

Does Habitat Restoration Increase Coexistence of Native Stream Fishes with Introduced Brown Trout: A Case Study on the Middle Provo River, Utah, USA

1
Department of Biology, 4102 LSB, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602, USA
2
U.S. Department of Energy, Western Area Power Administration, 150 S East Social Hall Ave., Salt Lake City, UT 84111, USA
3
Department of Plant and Wildlife Sciences, 4105B LSB, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: John S. Schwartz
Received: 29 January 2016 / Revised: 22 March 2016 / Accepted: 23 March 2016 / Published: 29 March 2016
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Abstract

Restoration of altered or degraded habitats is often a key component in the conservation plan of native aquatic species, but introduced species may influence the response of the native community to restoration. Recent habitat restoration of the middle section of the Provo River in central Utah, USA, provided an opportunity to evaluate the effect of habitat restoration on the native fish community in a system with an introduced, dominant predator—brown trout (Salmo trutta). To determine the change in distribution of fish species and community composition, we surveyed 200 m of each of the four study reaches both before restoration (1998) and after restoration (2007 and 2009). Juveniles and adults of six native species increased in distribution after restoration. The variation in fish community structure among reaches was lower post-restoration than pre-restoration. Overall, restoration of complex habitat in the middle Provo River led to increased pattern of coexistence between native fishes and introduced brown trout, but restoration activities did not improve the status of the river’s two rarest native fish species. Habitat restoration may only be completely successful in terms of restoring native communities when the abundance of invasive species can be kept at low levels. View Full-Text
Keywords: species-specific responses; habitat restoration; invasive species; brown trout species-specific responses; habitat restoration; invasive species; brown trout
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Belk, M.C.; Billman, E.J.; Ellsworth, C.; McMillan, B.R. Does Habitat Restoration Increase Coexistence of Native Stream Fishes with Introduced Brown Trout: A Case Study on the Middle Provo River, Utah, USA. Water 2016, 8, 121.

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