Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Pennsylvania
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Pennsylvania Project

Nations Fish Habitat at Multiple Spatial Scales in a Rapidly Changing Climate

December 2009 - September 2014


Participating Agencies

  • U.S. Geological Survey

Throughout its native range in the Eastern U.S., the brook trout is a culturally and economically important species that is sensitive to warming stream temperatures and habitat degradation. The purpose of this project is to determine what impacts projected future land use and climate changes might have on the condition of stream habitat to support self-sustaining brook trout populations. The study region encompasses the historic native range of brook trout which includes the northeastern states and follows the Appalachian Mountains south to Georgia, where the distribution is limited to higher elevation streams with suitable water temperatures (streams < ~24 C maximum summer temperature). Relationships between recent observations of brook trout and predicted stream temperature, land use, and a number of potential habitat stressors will be used to make predictions regarding the condition of the habitat in each stream reach for supporting self-sustaining brook trout now and under future climate and land use change scenarios.