UBC Research Data

Data from: A test of the umbrella species approach in restored floodplain ponds. Branton, Margaret A.; Richardson, John S.


1.The umbrella species approach, where conservation actions targeted for one or a group of species should benefit the broader community, may provide an effective framework to guide habitat restoration. This requires congruence in the response of umbrella and co-occurring species to environmental stress and recovery, and the identification of potential mechanisms by which co-occurring species benefit from conservation of an umbrella species. 2.Past evaluations of this approach have considered only the presence/absence of umbrella species. In addition to presence/absence, we quantified abundance and biomass of both umbrella and co-occurring species to support a more quantitative evaluation of species co-occurrence. Floodplain ponds are restored in British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest to benefit coho salmon Oncorhynchus kisutch, a presumptive umbrella species. To test its effectiveness as an umbrella species, we assessed the relationships between species richness, abundance and biomass of aquatic vertebrates, including vertebrates of conservation concern (“listed”), and benthic invertebrates and the abundance and biomass of juvenile coho. We used ordination to evaluate relationships between species’ abundance and biomass and environmental attributes. 3.Positive relationships were identified between coho abundance and biomass and species richness, abundance and biomass of fish and listed species. These relationships were negative for benthic invertebrates. Listed species were located close to coho in ordinations, suggesting they respond to similar environmental features while benthic invertebrates clustered away from coho. 4.Synthesis and applications. We found that where our umbrella species coho is most productive, so are other listed species and fish in general, a relationship that would not have been evident had we evaluated species richness alone. We also reported strong relationships between some environmental features manipulated in the habitat restoration and the presence and productivity of coho and co-occurring species. Our study demonstrates the umbrella species approach has potential to guide habitat restoration when there is congruence in the response of umbrella and co-occurring species to environmental attributes that can be manipulated in the restoration. Where this is possible, one can use restoration designed for one or several umbrella species and successfully restore habitats that are viable for other species, including listed species.; Usage notes
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