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Keyword: rivers

Monitoring the impact of changing climate on western rivers and cold water species

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 31, 2018
Anyone familiar with the Columbia River’s massive salmon die-off a few summers ago might also be concerned about how climate change will affect fish habitats. The 2015 die-off killed more than 250,000 fish and was blamed on record low streamflows and high water temperatures. While coldwater fish such as salmon and trout can adjust to slightly warmer-than-normal temperatures for short periods, abnormally high temperatures for prolonged periods lower oxygen levels, increase the likelihood of deadly diseases, and cause life-threatening physiological stress.

Controls on the size and occurrence of pools in coarse-grained forest rivers

Publications Posted on: August 01, 2018
Controls on pool formation are examined in gravel- and cobble-bed rivers in forest mountain drainage basins of northern California, southern Oregon, and southeastern Alaska. We demonstrate that the majority of pools at our study sites are formed by flow obstructions and that pool geometry and frequency largely depend on obstruction characteristics (size, type, and frequency).

Our forests in the [water] balance

Pages Posted on: May 15, 2018
  Climate change is not only causing temperatures to rise, it is also altering the amount and type of precipitation that falls across the western United States. Research shows a trend of increasingly dry “dry years,” meaning droughts are becoming more severe and streams are flowing lower during these periods. Forests play an important role in delivering high quality water to streams, but climate change is affecting this role. Drought can cause tree mortality due to lack of water or reduced resistance to insects and disease. Dry fuels and stressed vegetation in forests also increases the potential for large wildfires. When many trees die in a forest fire or from disease or insect outbreaks, the amount of water entering nearby streams often increases. However, so does the delivery of sediment to these streams through erosion. These changes call on resource managers and communities in the West to start conversations today about addressing water supplies in the future. In addition, silviculturists, fuel specialists, and aquatic ecologists can work together to maintain a holistic view of ecosystems that, above all, considers where forests fit in the water balance.

Global warming of salmon and trout rivers in the northwestern U.S.: Road to ruin or path through purgatory?

Publications Posted on: April 23, 2018
Large rivers constitute small portions of drainage networks but provide important migratory habitats and fisheries for salmon and trout when and where temperatures are sufficiently cold. Management and conservation of cold‐water fishes in the current era of rapid climate change requires knowing how riverine thermal environments are evolving and the potential for detrimental biological impacts.

Status, ecology, and conservation of the southwestern willow flycatcher

Publications Posted on: May 12, 2016
This publication was prepared in response to a need expressed by southwestern agencies and organizations for a comprehensive assessment of the population status, history, biology, ecology, habitats, threats, and conservation of the southwestern willow flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus). The southwestern willow flycatcher was federally listed as an Endangered subspecies in 1995.

Fire effects on aquatic ecosystems: An assessment of the current state of the science

Publications Posted on: March 03, 2016
Fire is a prevalent feature of many landscapes and has numerous and complex effects on geological, hydrological, ecological, and economic systems. In some regions, the frequency and intensity of wildfire have increased in recent years and are projected to escalate with predicted climatic and landuse changes.

Climate change vulnerability assessments and related literature for aquatic ecosystems: Utah

Pages Posted on: February 01, 2016
This page lists climate change vulnerability assessments and studies that mention aquatic systems in Utah. This list does not necessarily include larger, more regionally based studies and assessments that might also have relevance to this state.

Climate change vulnerability assessments and related literature for aquatic ecosystems: Oregon and Washington

Pages Posted on: February 01, 2016
This page lists climate change vulnerability assessments and studies that mention aquatic systems in Oregon and Washington. This is not a comprehensive review of literature for the Northwestern states because our literature search was not focused on this region.

Climate change vulnerability assessments and related literature for aquatic ecosystems: Nevada

Pages Posted on: February 01, 2016
This page lists climate change assessments and studies that mention aquatic systems in Nevada. This is not a comprehensive review of literature for Nevada because our literature search was not focused on this state. It also does not necessarily include larger, more regionally based studies and assessments that might also have relevance to this state

Climate change vulnerability assessments and related literature for aquatic ecosystems: Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming

Pages Posted on: February 01, 2016
This page lists climate change assessments and studies that mention aquatic systems in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. This is not a comprehensive review of literature because our literature search was not focused on this region.

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