Simulating Metacommunities of Riverine Fishes (SMRF) Model v 1.0 and User Manual

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EPA announced the availability of the Simulating Metacommunities of Riverine Fishes (SMRF) Model and User Manual.


Fish communities in river networks provide significant ecosystem services that will likely decline under future land use, human water demand, and climate variability. Modeling can be used to assess the consequences to multiple populations of one or more fish species from multiple stressors across a river network. We propose a modeling approach that is of intermediate scale and complexity.

The model is spatially-explicit and age-structured, with three components: habitat suitability; population dynamics, including species interactions; and movement across a spatial network. Although this model is simple, it can form the basis of fisheries assessments and may be incorporated into an integrated modeling system for watershed management and prediction. The approach provides a heuristic tool for identifying critical data gaps in our understanding of watershed-scale fish-habitat relationships, particularly as these may be influenced by species behaviors and interactions. Model results provide testable hypotheses regarding species distributions and projected fish population responses to environmental change, water consumption, species invasions, and land use effects on water temperature.


U.S. EPA. Simulating Metacommunities of Riverine Fishes (SMRF) Model v 1.0 and User Manual. U.S. EPA Office of Research and Development, Washington, DC, EPA/645/R-20/001, 2019.

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Date Description
01- Jul 2020 EPA released the SMRF Model and Science in Action Fact Sheet.
02- May 2020 EPA released the SMRF Model version 1.0 and updated manual with an errata sheet.
03- Oct 2019 EPA released the SMRF User Manual.

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This document has been reviewed in accordance with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency policy and approved for publication. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute endorsement or recommendation for use.

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