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    Author(s): Daniel IsaakMichael Young
    Date: 2017
    Source: Mountain Views. December 2017: 3-6.
    Publication Series: Magazines or Trade Publications
    Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (528.0 KB)


    Topographic diversity is the essence of mountain environments in western North America, a diversity that manifests itself hydrologically in a host of forms - rivers, streams, lakes, wetlands, and springs - that constitute habitats for a wealth of fish, amphibians, mussels, and insects. Some of those taxa, such as species of salmon and trout, are well studied icons of the region, whereas others are known only to dedicated naturalists or have yet to be described by science. Climatic controls on the distribution and abundance of aquatic taxa are of longstanding interest to aquatic ecologists and researchers given the aridity of much of the western U.S. and the strong environmental gradients driving biodiversity patterns from headwaters to lowlands. In fact, some of the first global research predicting how anthropogenic climate change could affect popular coldwater trout species occurred in the Rocky Mountains more than 20 years ago (Keleher and Rahel 1996). Early estimates of the potential habitat losses that warming could cause were a source of widespread concern and have stimulated ongoing research ever since. Most recently, historical resurvey efforts have confirmed that distributions of trout species are shifting coincident with warming (Eby et al. 2014), and these have heightened interest in identifying habitats that may serve as climate refugia for species preservation.

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    Isaak, Daniel; Young, Michael. 2017. Delineating climate refugia for native aquatic species with big crowd-sourced databases. Mountain Views. December 2017: 3-6.


    climate, native aquatic species, habitats

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