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Tuesday, April 10 • 11:30am - 11:45am
AQUATIC, COASTAL AND MARINE ANIMALS: River Temperatures at Spatial and Temporal Scales Relevant to Juvenile Salmon: Using Distributed Wireless Technologies to Connect Sensors for Real-time Sampling

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AUTHORS: Scott G. Burman*, Jingya Gao, Dipak Ghosal, Gregory B. Pasternack – University of California, Davis

ABSTRACT: The lower Yuba River (LYR) is a regulated, gravel-bed river in Northern California. While relatively cold, the LYR converges with the warmer and larger Feather River. Recent work has found that juvenile salmonids are sensitive to temperature and are adapted to the temperatures in their home rivers. It stands to reason that the temperature regime of the LYR/Feather complex provides a unique opportunity to explore the adaptive potential of juvenile salmonids. To place this physiological adaptibility into an ecological context, we needed to understand the temperatures experienced by juveniles, which tend to avoid predation by staying in channel margins, away from the river centerline. These shallow margins have heterogeneous temperature profiles thanks to low water velocities, hyporheic flows, and variable shading. In addressing the suite of ecological conditions experienced by juveniles along a 3 km segment, we sought to measure temperatures across the channel and in backwater refugia. Sampling the diversity of flows and across the seasons that the river experiences required continuous sensing over multiple years. Yet, to capture the full diel fluctuation at each point, hourly sampling was needed. As the LYR is prone to floods, which can destroy sensors, data needed to be transmitted in real-time. For this, we developed a novel, expandable wireless network, which has multi-year battery-life while sampling water temperature at many locations multiple times per hour, and relaying data in near real-time to a remote server. We then generalized this networking technology to be robust to nearly any sensed data. From this highly resolved data, we observed unexpected temperature variability through both space and time. Some sensors in margins experienced considerably greater diel variability than previously documented. Over small cross-channel distances, we also found greater temperature variability than observed over many kilometers, longitudinally. This highlights the complex and anisotropic system that juveniles traverse.

Tuesday April 10, 2018 11:30am - 11:45am
LaSalle 1 (7th Floor)

Attendees (6)