Research Fish Biologist,
Team Leader, Landscape and Ecosystem Management
Pacific Northwest Research Station
Corvallis Forestry Sciences Lab
Statement of Research:
In my research, I am drawn to questions that explore holistic approaches to watershed analysis and management. I am interested in both statistical and physical representations of stream networks in analysis and monitoring that more realistically represent stream complexity and connectivity for aquatic species along four primary lines of research: multiscale salmonid ecology; stream network analysis; climate change and salmonid life history; and integrated watershed management. Salmonids have complex life histories that require a multidisciplinary approach (biology, ecology, landscape ecology, hydrology, geomorphology) to understand the implications of ecological processes at multiple scales. I am interested in defining and solving the difficult problems associated with salmonid occupancy, distribution, and abundance in stream networks over time under current and predicted future conditions. I conduct studies to expand the existing knowledge base about the interaction between complex life-history phenology of Pacific salmonids and their environment. This issue is increasingly important in the context of climate change as it relates to available habitats in coastal draining systems. I see successful collaboration among all stakeholders in a watershed as instrumental to the successful restoration of a river system. To this end, I work to develop relationships among landowners, land managers, and scientists to study and describe successful techniques for collaboration. I am involved with local, regional, and state-wide efforts in Oregon to develop coordinated management techniques focused on watersheds.
Projects & Activities:
Resilience of Native Fishes to Wildfire in the
Seasonal Fish Assemblages in Small Tidal Marshes
Climate change and salmon in the Oregon Coast Range
Analyzing Streams as Networks:
It Takes a Community to Restore A Watershed
Multi-scale Analysis of Coho Salmon Over Large Spatial Extents
Flitcroft RL, Cerveny LK, Bormann BT, Smith JE, Asah ST and Fischer AP. In press. The emergence of watershed and forest collaboratives. Chapter 9 in: D. H. Olson and B. Van Horne (eds.), Reconnecting in Grand Forests of the Pacific Northwest. Island Press.
Steel A, Muldoon A, Flitcroft R, Firman J, Anlauf K. In press 2016. Characterizing broad-scale patterns of juvenile coho distribution in western Oregon. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences.
Falke JA, Flitcroft RL, Dunham JB, McNyset KM, Hessburg PF, Reeves GH. 2016. Climate change and vulnerability of bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) in a fire-prone landscape. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 72(2): 304-318. dx.doi.org/10.1139/cjfas-2014-0098
Flitcroft R, Bottom D, Haberman K, Bierly K, Jones K, Simenstad C, Gray A, Ellingson K, Baumgartner E, Cornwell T, Campbell L. 2016. Expect the unexpected: place-based protections can lead to unforeseen benefits. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 26 (Suppl. 1): 39-59.
Flitcroft RL, Falke JA, Reeves GH, Hessburg PF, McNyset KM, Benda LE. 2016. Wildfire may increase habitat quality for spring Chinook salmon in the Wenatchee River subbasin, WA, USA. Forest Ecology and Management 359: 126-140.
Flitcroft R, Hansen B, Capurso J, Christiansen K. 2016. Coverage of aquatic invasive risk assessment in USFS Region 6. Report to U.S. Forest Service Region 6. Corvallis, OR: US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station.
Juffe-Bignoli D, Harrison I, Butchart S, Flitcroft R, Hermoso V, Jonas H, Lukasiewicz A, Theme M, Turak E, Bingham H, and others. 2016. Achieving Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 to improve protected areas performance and conserve freshwater biodiversity. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 26 (Suppl. 1): 133-151.
Penaluna B, Olson D, Flitcroft R, Weber M, Bellmore R, Wondzell S, Dunham J, Johnson S, Reeves G. 2016. Aquatic biodiversity in forests: a weak link in ecological and ecosystem service resilience. Biodiversity and Conservation. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10531-016-1148-0
Pittock J, Finlayson M, Arthington AH, Roux D, Matthews JH, Biggs H, Blom E, Flitcroft R, Froend R, Harrison I, Hermoso V, Junk W, Kumar R, Linke S, Nel J, Nunes da Cunha C, Pattnaik A, Pollard S, Rast W, Thieme M, Turak E, Turpie J, van Niekerk L, Willems D, Viers J. 2015. Chapter 19: Managing freshwater, river, wetland and estuarine protected areas, in Worboys G et al. (eds) Protected Area Governance and Management. World Commission on Protected Areas and ANU Press, Canberra.
Miller S, Flitcroft R. 2014. Linking upslope management actions to in-channel sediment and wood attributes across the US Northwest Forest Plan area. Presentation summary. In: Resource roads in British Columbia: environmental challenges at the site level, May 14-15, 2014, Nelson, British Columbia, Canada. Revelstoke, BC, Canada: Columbia Mountains Institute of Applied Ecology: 79-85.
Flitcroft R, Burnett K, Snyder J, Reeves G, Ganio L. 2014. Riverscape patterns among years of juvenile Coho Salmon in midcoastal Oregon: implications for conservation. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 143: 26-38.
Flitcroft R, Giannico G. 2013. Keeping pace with future environmental conditions in coastal Oregon, USA. Water Resources Impact 15(6): 6-9.
Flitcroft R, Burnett K, Christiansen K. 2013. A simple model that identifies potential effects of sea-level rise on estuarine and estuary-ecotone habitat locations for salmonids in Oregon, USA. Environmental Management 52(1): 196-208. Link to pub at SpringerLink.
Flitcroft RL, Burnett KM, Reeves GH, Ganio LM. 2012. Do network relationships matter? Comparing network and instream habitat variables to explain densities of juvenile coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) in mid-coastal Oregon, USA. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 22: 288-302.
USFS PNW Research Station. 2011. Watershed councils: it takes a community to restore a watershed. Science Findings 129, January 2011.
Fullerton AH, Burnett KM, Steel EA, Flitcroft RL, Pess GR, Feist BE, Torgersen CE, Miller DJ, Sanderson BL. 2010. Hydrological connectivity for riverine fish: measurement challenges and research opportunities. Freshwater Biology 55: 2215-2237.
Flitcroft RL, Dedrick DC, Smith CL, Thieman CA, Bolte JP. 2009. Social infrastructure to integrate science and practice: the Experience of the Long Tom Watershed Council. The Journal of Ecology and Society 14(3):Art36.
Flitcroft, Rebecca L. 2007. Regions to streams: Spatial and temporal variation in stream occupancy patterns of coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) on the Oregon Coast. Doctoral Dissertation, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon.
Jones KK, Flitcroft RL, Thom BA. 2001. Spatial patterns of aquatic habitat in Oregon. In: Nishida T, Kailola PJ, Hollingworth CE, eds. Proceedings of the First International Symposium on GIS in Fishery Science (Seattle, WA, USA, 2-4 March 1999). Saitama, Japan: Fishery GIS Research Group: 266-280.