Search
US Forest Service Research & Development
Contact Information
  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
You are here: Home / Research Topics / Research Highlights / Individual Highlight

Research Highlights

Individual Highlight

Strategically linking headwater habitats across ridgelines benefits amphibians and management

The coastal tailed frog is one of many species that likely would benefit from linked headwaters that facilitate connectivity among gene pools of subpopulations in adjacent watersheds. Loretta Ellenburg, Forest ServiceSnapshot : Federal biologists, land managers, and watershed stewardship councils are interested in this new design that maintains amphibian habitat and while anticipating future needs in response to climate change. The movement of stream-breeding amphibians overland across forested ridgelines to adjacent drainages can be interrupted by forest disturbances. Strategically placing dispersal corridors for headwater species allows amphibian populations to move across ridgelines in response to climate change and maximizes existing protected areas.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Olson, Deanna ("Dede") H.  
Research Location : Arizona and New Mexico
Research Station : Pacific Northwest Research Station (PNW)
Year : 2011
Highlight ID : 343

Summary

The movement of stream-breeding amphibians overland across forested ridgelines to adjacent drainages can be interrupted by forest disturbances. To mitigate this, station scientists developed criteria for placing and managing dispersal corridors extending out from headwater riparian reserves, up and over ridgelines to the neighboring headwater riparian area. This design considers placing linkage areas at stand-to-landscape scales, for example (1) in north-south directions to allow population resiliency in the face of climate change, (2) across watershed boundaries that have no aquatic connectivity, (3) at landscape nodes where three discrete watersheds join, and (4) by co-locating linkages with debris-flow-prone areas, existing reserves, and federal lands. Scientists modeled this approach for the Oregon Coast Range.

Federal biologists, land managers, and watershed stewardship councils are interested in this design. Implementation is being considered on several national forests in the Pacific Northwest Region as well as on federal lands in Arizona and New Mexico.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

 
  • USDI Bureau of Land Management
  • Earth Systems Institute