March 25, 2020
Animal populations are spatially and temporally structured, and understanding drivers of these dynamics is important for their conservation and management. Based on mark-recapture and long-term count data of resident (non-migratory) salmonids such as brooktrout and white-spotted char, I show that spatial heterogeneity is a common pattern in the riverscape and animal movement is a key demographic process that sustains spatially-structured populations. Stream salmonid populations are also highly variable over time, responding to inter-annual and seasonal variation in climate. I discuss challenges and opportunities of conserving coldwater fishes, including native brook trout in North Carolina, under anthropogenic threats such as climate change and habitat degradation and fragmentation.