Strategically linking headwater habitats across ridgelines benefits amphibians and management
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