Hydrologic regimes in a changing climate : characteristics and responses of wetland and off-channel habitat along the Telkwa River and the implications for juvenile coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch)
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Given changing climatic conditions in British Columbia, Canada, there is a need to examine the hydrologic regime in freshwater systems and the potential implications of a changing regime to species in these systems. This study assessed parameters in the Telkwa River (TR) watershed which, if altered, could potentially have adverse effects on the TR's hydrologic regime and juvenile Pacific coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch). Current and historic parameters, including: local climate; glacier mass; discharge; water temperature; and the characteristics of adjacent wetland and off-channel habitats (WOHs) utilized by O. kisutch were examined. It was found that long-term changes to local climate are having an impact on the hydrologic regime by reducing glacier mass, and altering intra-annual and annual discharge. However, with respect to WOHs, a significant ecological change in response to the altered hydrologic regime was not noted, suggesting WOHs have been capable of buffering the changing hydrologic conditions to date.
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