Freshwater ecosystems are faced with a number of challenges in the coming decades. Models predict that the climate will generally become warmer and drier, which may have serious implications for organisms that rely on freshwater habitat. Introductions of non-native species can have serious negative consequences for native species, which may be exacerbated by climate change and changes in the way that land is used. Recent research by Dr. David Lawrence and colleagues in the upper John Day River, Oregon, demonstrates that Chinook salmon, a species of ecological, cultural, and economic significance in the Pacific Northwest, may be squeezed out of available habitat by stream warming. The salmon will also be threatened by complete habitat overlap with smallmouth bass populations, which prey on juvenile salmon. However, their research also identified the potential for riparian restoration to reduce stream temperatures and provide more cool-water habitat for juvenile salmon, particularly when high priority restoration sites were chosen. This paper is a great example of how ecology can inform management of these critical species and habitats.
Read more about the research here.