OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Results

Effect of bedrock permeability on stream base flow mean transit time scaling relationships: 2. Process study of storage and release
V. Cody Hale, Jeffrey J. McDonnell, Michael K. Stewart, D. Kip Solomon, Jim Doolitte, George G. Ice, Robert T. Pack
Feb-02-2016

In Part 1 of this two-part series, Hale and McDonnell (2016) showed that bedrock permeability controlled base flow mean transit times (MTTs) and MTT scaling relations across two different catchment geologies in western Oregon. This paper presents a process-based investigation of storage and release in the more permeable catchments to explain the longer MTTs and (catchment) area-dependent scaling. Our field-based study includes hydrometric, MTT, and groundwater dating to better understand the role of subsurface catchment storage in setting base flow MTTs. We show that base flow MTTs were controlled by a mixture of water from discrete storage zones: (1) soil, (2) shallow hillslope bedrock, (3) deep hillslope bedrock, (4) surficial alluvial plain, and (5) suballuvial bedrock. We hypothesize that the relative contributions from each component change with catchment area. Our results indicate that the positive MTT-area scaling relationship observed in Part 1 is a result of older, longer flow path water from the suballuvial zone becoming a larger proportion of streamflow in a downstream direction (i.e., with increasing catchment area). Our work suggests that the subsurface permeability structure represents the most basic control on how subsurface water is stored and therefore is perhaps the best direct predictor of base flow MTT (i.e., better than previously derived morphometric-based predictors). Our discrete storage zone concept is a process explanation
for the observed scaling behavior of Hale and McDonnell (2016), thereby linking patterns and processes at scales from 0.1 to 100 km2.

DISCIPLINE: Hydrology & Water Quality    STUDY: Alsea    TYPE: Journal Articles    TAGS: bedrock permeability, MTT, storage and release
Local Variability Mediates Vulnerability of Trout Populations to Land Use and Climate Change
Brooke E. Penaluna, Jason B. Dunham, Steve F. Railsback, Ivan Arismendi, Sherri L. Johnson, Robert E. Bilby, Mohammad Safeeq, Arne E. Skaugset
Jul-21-2015

Land use and climate change occur simultaneously around the globe. Fully understanding their separate and combined effects requires a mechanistic understanding at the local scale where their effects are ultimately realized. Here we applied an individual-based model of fish population dynamics to evaluate the role of local stream variability in modifying responses of Coastal Cutthroat Trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii clarkii) to scenarios simulating identical changes in temperature and stream flows linked to forest harvest, climate change, and their combined effects over six decades. We parameterized the model for four neighboring streams located in a forested headwater catchment in northwestern Oregon, USA with multi-year, daily measurements of stream temperature, flow, and turbidity (2007– 2011), and field measurements of both instream habitat structure and three years of annual trout population estimates. Model simulations revealed that variability in habitat conditions
among streams (depth, available habitat) mediated the effects of forest harvest and climate change. Net effects for most simulated trout responses were different from or less than the sum of their separate scenarios. In some cases, forest harvest countered the effects of climate change through increased summer flow. Climate change most strongly influenced trout (earlier fry emergence, reductions in biomass of older trout, increased biomass of young-of-year), but these changes did not consistently translate into reductions in biomass over time. Forest harvest, in contrast, produced fewer and less consistent responses in trout. Earlier fry emergence driven by climate change was the most consistent simulated response, whereas survival, growth, and biomass were inconsistent. Overall our findings indicate a host of local processes can strongly influence how populations respond to broad scale effects of land use and climate change.

DISCIPLINE: Fisheries    STUDY: Trask    TYPE: Journal Articles    TAGS: trout, land use, climate change
Instream cover and shade mediate avian predation on trout in semi-natural streams
Brooke E. Penaluna, Jason B. Dunham, David L.G. Noakes
Feb-22-2015

Piscivory by birds can be significant, particularly on fish in small streams and during seasonal low flow when available cover from predators can be limited. Yet, how varying amounts of cover may change the extent of predation mortality from avian predators on fish is not clear. We evaluated size-selective survival of coastal cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii clarkii) in replicated semi-natural stream sections. These sections provided high (0.01 m2 of cover per m2 of stream) or low (0.002 m2 of cover per m2 of stream) levels of instream cover available to trout and were closed to emigration. Each fish was individually tagged, allowing us to track retention of individuals during the course of the 36-day experiment, which we attributed to survival from predators, because fish had no other way to leave the streams. Although other avian predators may have been active in our system and not detected, the only predator observed was the belted kingfisher Megaceryle alcyon, which is known to prey heavily on fish. In both treatments, trout >20.4 cm were not preyed upon indicating an increased ability to prey upon on smaller individuals. Increased availability of cover improved survival of trout by 12% in high relative to low cover
stream sections. Trout also survived better in stream sections with greater shade, a factor we could not control in our system. Collectively, these findings indicate that instream cover and shade from avian predators can play an important role in driving survival of fish in small streams or during periods of low flow.

DISCIPLINE: Fisheries    STUDY:    TYPE: Journal Articles    TAGS: trout survival, refuge, piscivory, body size, low flow, experiment
The role of the geophysical template and environmental regimes in controlling stream-living trout populations
Brooke E. Penaluna, Steve F. Railsback, Jason B. Dunham, Sherri Johnson, Robert E. Bilby, and Arne E. Skaugset
Feb-04-2015

The importance of multiple processes and instream factors to aquatic biota has been explored extensively, but questions remain about how local spatiotemporal variability of aquatic biota is tied to environmental regimes and the geophysical template of streams. We used an individual-based trout model to explore the relative role of the geophysical template versus environmental regimes on biomass of trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii clarkii). We parameterized the model with observed data from each of the four headwater streams (their local geophysical template and environmental regime) and then ran 12 simulations where we replaced environmental regimes (stream temperature, flow, turbidity) of a given stream with values from each neighboring stream while keeping the geophysical template fixed. We also performed single-parameter sensitivity analyses on the model results from each of the four streams. Although our modeled findings show that trout biomass is most responsive to changes in the geophysical template of streams, they also reveal that biomass is restricted by available habitat during seasonal low flow, which is a product of both the stream’s geophysical template and flow regime. Our modeled results suggest that differences in the geophysical template among streams render trout more or less sensitive to environmental change, emphasizing the importance of local fish–habitat relationships in streams.

DISCIPLINE: Fisheries    STUDY: Trask    TYPE: Journal Articles    TAGS: geophysical template, environmental regimes, trout
Effect of contemporary forest harvesting practices on headwater stream temperatures: Initial response of the Hinkle Creek catchment, Pacific Northwest
Kibler Kelly M., Skaugset, Arne, Ganio, Lisa M., Huso, Manuela M.
Oct-04-2013

We investigated the effect of contemporary forest harvesting practices on warm-season thermal regimes of headwater streams using a Before-After-Control-Intervention (BACI) design within a nested, paired watershed study. We applied harvesting treatments to four headwater tributaries of Hinkle Creek, designed in accordance with the Oregon Forest Practices Act. Therefore, fixed-width buffer strips containing overstory merchantable trees were not left adjacent to the four non-fish-bearing streams. The summer following harvesting, we observed a variable temperature response across the four harvested streams. Mean maximum daily stream temperatures ranged from 1.5 C cooler to 1.0 C warmer relative to pre-harvest years. We also observed significantly lower minimum and mean daily stream temperatures, and recorded particularly low temperatures in treatment streams on days that minimum stream temperatures in reference streams were high. At the watershed scale, we did not observe cumulative stream temperature effects related to harvesting 14% of the watershed area in multiple, spatially-distributed harvest units across four headwater catchments. At the watershed outlet, we observed no change to maximum, mean, or minimum daily stream temperatures. We attribute the lack of consistent temperature increases in headwater streams to shading provided by a layer of logging slash that deposited over the streams during harvesting, and to increased summer baseflows.

DISCIPLINE: Hydrology & Water Quality    STUDY: Hinkle Creek    TYPE: Journal Articles    TAGS: Stream temperature, Forest management, Canopy closure, Impact assessment, Headwater streams, Cumulative effects, Hinkle, Oregon, Paired Watershed, Forest Hydrology
Relationships Between Stream Discharge and Cutthroat Trout Abundance at Multiple Scales in Managed Headwater Basins of Western Oregon
Owens, H.L.
Jun-17-2013

Relationships between resident cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii clarkii) and six hydrologic indices were investigated using correlation analysis in two experimental headwater catchments in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains of western Oregon. This investigation was to determine if characteristics of discharge explained inter-annual variability in trout abundance. Eight years of continuous discharge and annual abundance data collected from two contiguous watersheds from the Hinkle Creek Paired Watershed Study were used for this study. Density-discharge relationships were identified separately in the watershed actively managed for timber harvest and in the control watershed. Correlation was determined at multiple stream segments and at the watershed scale to assess the roles of spatial scale and network location on the detectability of density-discharge relationships. A method for improving the spatial coupling of density and discharge measurements within the stream network was also investigated. No correlations (r ≤ ǀ0.50ǀ) between hydrologic indices and age-1+ trout density in either watershed were found. Two hydrologic indices were related to the density of age-0 trout: maximum annual discharge (r = 0.780) in the control watershed and Q90 summer discharge (r = 0.697) in the treated watershed. The correlation between the density of age-0 trout and each of these two indices were similar across individual stream segments, but variability in the magnitude of the...

DISCIPLINE: Fisheries    STUDY: Hinkle Creek    TYPE: Theses    TAGS: Cutthroat Trout, Variability, trout abundance, Density-discharge relationships
Dissolved Oxygen Response to Forest Management in the Alsea Watershed Study Revisited
Ice G., V. C. Hale, T. Bousquet, A. Simmons, G. Brown, and D. Lee
Apr-18-2013

The original Alsea Watershed Study found dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations at or near saturation in the control (Flynn Creek) and patchcut and buffered (Deer Creek) watersheds. DO concentrations in some reaches of the clearcut and unbuffered watershed (Needle Branch) were found to be substantially below saturation following the 1966 harvest. The depressed concentrations were thought to result from a combination of increased biochemical oxygen demand, reduced solubility due to stream heating, increased biological activity, and reduced reaeration. The Alsea Watershed Study Revisited (AWSR) returns to the same watersheds and provides an assessment of physical, chemical, and biological response to contemporary forest practices. During the pre-treatment phase of the AWRS low DO concentrations were observed in Needle Branch in the summer and fall. These low concentrations coincided with low flow periods. At these times flow becomes “discontinuously perennial” and portions of the stream network go subsurface. We now believe that despite having some of the highest reaeration rates ever measured, certain reaches of Needle Branch are prone to depressed DO concentrations. For some reaches, surface flow during critical late season periods is largely composed of recently emerged groundwater or hyporheic water. Both original study and AWSR findings show high spatial variability in DO concentrations.

DISCIPLINE: Hydrology & Water Quality    STUDY: Alsea    TYPE: Presentations    TAGS: Dissolved Oxygen, fish distribution, perennially-flowing, groundwater, discontinuously perennial
Nutrient Response to Contemporary Forest Practices Regulations
Stednick J. D., V. C. Hale, G. Ice, D. Cook, T. Bousquet, and J. Light
Apr-18-2013

The original Alsea Watershed Study measured water quality before and after logging. For Deer Creek with patchcuts and streamside vegetation buffers, there were no changes in water quality post-harvesting. Needle Branch was harvested without streamside buffers and the slash burned. Nitrate concentrations increased from 0.70 to a maximum of 2.10 mg/L, and returned to pretreatment levels by the 6th year after logging. The loss of nitrogen was negligible when compared to the nitrogen capital (soils and vegetation) and loss of terrestrial productivity was not anticipated. Additional water quality monitoring in the study watersheds identified spatial and temporal variations instream water quality. Of particular note is the influence of landscape elements including vegetation, soils, slope, and hydraulic conductivity as related to water quality, particularly nitrogen. Also the first significant fall storm flushes oxidized nitrogen from the soil profile and results in higher stream water nitrate concentrations. The Alsea Watershed Study Revisited (AWSR) provides an assessment of water quality response to contemporary forest practices. Nested watersheds in Needle Branch, including immediately below the harvest unit (NBU) and the original gauge (NBL) were compared for water quality changes. During the pre-treatment monitoring, nutrient concentrations at NBU were generally higher but paralleled concentrations at NBL.

DISCIPLINE: Hydrology & Water Quality    STUDY: Alsea    TYPE: Presentations    TAGS: Nitrate concentration, ammonia, phosphorus
Herbicides in Needle Branch Streamwater
Louch, J., G. Allen, G. Ice, T. Garland, V. C. Hale, and J. McDonnell
Apr-18-2013

Glyphosate, aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA), imazapyr, sulfometuron methyl, and metsulfuron methyl were measured in Needle Branch streamwater during and after application of herbicide(s). All herbicides were applied by helicopter in a single tank mix. Samples were collected at three sites: NBH (at the fish/no-fish interface in the middle of the harvest unit), NBU (at the bottom of the harvest unit), and NBL (well downstream). AMPA, imazapyr, sulfometuron methyl and metsulfuron methyl were not detected in any sample at 15 ng/L, 0.6 μg/L, 0.5 μg/L and 1 μg/L, respectively. However, a clear pulse of dissolved glyphosate manifested at NBH during the application (baseflow conditions).  Subsequent baseflow samples collected three days after treatment (DAT) showed ≈25 ng/L dissolved glyphosate at all three sites. Samples collected during the first storm event (8 DAT) showed a clear pulse of dissolved glyphosate at NBU, but not at NBH or NBL. The maximum concentration observed during this pulse at NBU was 115 ng/L, and the pulse persisted for about six hours. During the next storm event (10 DAT) a clear pulse of dissolved glyphosate manifested at NBH, but not at NBU or NBL. The maximum co centration observed was 42 ng/L, and this pulse persisted for about ten hours. Results from all subsequent storm events showed dissolved glyphosate at <20 ng/L in all samples. A limited number of analyses on suspended sediment (SS) showed that SS held de minimis masses of glyphosate and AMPA.

DISCIPLINE: Hydrology & Water Quality    STUDY: Alsea    TYPE: Presentations    TAGS: Glyphosate, herbicides, aerial application
Fish Population Response to Harvesting with Contemporary Forest Practice Regulations: The Alsea Watershed Study Revisited
Bateman D., R. Gresswell, D. Hockman-Wert, D. Leer, and J. Light
Apr-18-2013

Coastal cutthroat trout Oncorhynchus clarkii clarkii are the most widely distributed native salmonid in the forested watersheds of western Oregon. The initial Alsea Watershed Study demonstrated negative impacts on the abundance of cutthroat trout due to logging practices of the day. Here we report on abundance, size, growth, and condition of coastal cutthroat trout before and after logging under the current forest management practice regulations using a before, after, control, impact (BACI) study design with Flynn Creek and Needle Branch as the control and impact streams respectively. Relative abundance estimates are from a census of pool habitats using single-pass electrofishing and relative growth is from the recapture of individuals implanted with passive integrated transponder tags. A significant increase in age 1+ cutthroat trout biomass and abundance was observed post-harvest in Needle Branch relative to Flynn Creek (p=0.04 and 0.01 respectively). There was also a significant shift in the spatial distribution of cutthroat biomass in Needle Branch (p=0.04) in an upstream direction post-treatment suggesting that increases in cutthroat trout were spatially linked to the location of the harvest unit. There was no evidence for a treatment effect on mean fork length or the 90th percentile of fork length for age 1+ cutthroat trout (p=0.32 and 0.24 respectively). This result was supported by an absence of evidence for a treatment effect on relative growth rate.

DISCIPLINE: Fisheries    STUDY: Alsea    TYPE: Presentations    TAGS: Cutthroat Trout, single-pass electrofishing, biomass, habitat

Pages