An analysis of the influence of annual thermal variables on the occurrence of fifteen warmwater fishes

Robert M. Scheller, Virginia M. Snarski, John G. Eaton, Gary W. Oehlert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Multisource fish-sampling data and U.S. Geological Survey temperature data from streams throughout the United States were used to investigate the influence of derived thermal regime variables on the presence or absence of 15 common warmwater fish species. The 3-year average annual thermal regime was calculated for streams where presence or absence was known for these 15 species. Six variables estimated to be of biological importance to the winter and summer survival and recruitment of a species, including measures of feeding and nonfeeding periods, were calculated from these thermal regimes. Stepwise discriminant analysis and multiple regression were used to select optimal variables for creating multivariate models. Parametric and nonparametric multivariate discriminant analyses were then performed to test our ability to correctly classify presence or absence using the thermal variables. These statistical empirical models were able to correctly predict presence or absence with greater than 90% accuracy for 13 of 15 species. Nonparametric (K th nearest neighbor) analyses had marginally more accurate predictions than parametric (linear) analyses. This technique may allow for an improved estimation of potential changes in distribution under various global warming scenarios.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)257-264
Number of pages8
JournalTransactions of the American Fisheries Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1999


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