A physics-based model is provided for predicting the impact of climate change on stream temperature and, in turn, on Formosan landlocked salmon (Oncorhynchus masou formosanus) habitat. Because upstream watersheds on Taiwan Island are surrounded with high and steep mountains, the influence of mountain shading on solar radiation and longwave radiation is taken into account by using a digital elevation model. Projections using CGCM2 and HADCM3 models and CCCM and GISS models provided information on future climatic conditions. The results indicate that annual average stream temperatures may rise by 0·5°C (HADCM3 short term) to 2.9°C (CGCM2 long term) due to climate change. The simulation results also indicate that the average suitable habitat for the Formosan landlocked salmon may decline by 333 m (HADCM3 short term) to 1633 m (CGCM2 long term) and 166 m (HADCM3 short term) to 1833 m (CGCM2 long term) depending on which thermal criterion (17°C and 18°C respectively) is applied. The results of this study draw attention to the tasks of Formosan landlocked salmon conservation agencies, not only with regard to restoration plans of the local environment, but also to the mitigation strategies to global climate change that are necessary and require further research.
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