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
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
Local and Downstream Impacts of Contemporary Forest Practices on Sediment Yield
Skaugset A., N. Zègre, A. Simmons, and H. Owens
Apr-18-2013

The hydrological impacts of forest management remains a primary concern to resources managers yet much of our understanding about these effects comes from historic paired watershed studies conducted up to four decades ago. While these early studies play a critical role in the development of current best management practices and forest harvesting practices, results do not necessarily reflect the effects of modern forest harvesting. In this presentation we show results of a study conducted at the decade-long Hinkle Creek Paired Watershed Study that examines the local and downstream impacts of forest harvesting on streamflow. Streamflow was measured at the outlet of six (4 treatment|2 reference) headwater catchments and two (1 treatment|1 reference) 3rd –order watersheds. Regression-based change detection models were developed between reference and treated catchments using mean monthly streamflow, instantaneous maximum peak flow, and storm quick flow. Contemporary forest harvesting practices, defined by the Oregon Forest Practice Rule, were used to clear-cut harvest trees in four experimental headwater catchments, while reference catchments remained untouched. Forest harvesting treatments were initiated in the experimental headwater catchments in 2005 (1st entry) removing trees from 13% to 65% of catchment area following a fifteen to eighteen month calibration period.

DISCIPLINE: Hydrology & Water Quality    STUDY: Hinkle Creek    TYPE: Presentations    TAGS: sediment yield, contemporary forest practices, Discharge
The Influence of Contemporary Forest Management on Stream Nutrient Concentrations in an Industrialized Forest in the Oregon Cascades
Meininger, W.S., K. Cromack, and A. Skaugset
Apr-18-2013

Fertilizer was applied in 2004 and the response of the nutrient levels in the water was measured. Stream water samples were analyzed for nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium, sodium, potassium, magnesium, sulfate, chloride, and silicon as well as specific conductance, pH, and alkalinity. All treatment watersheds showed a statistically significant increase in NO3 + NO2 concentrations after clearcutting (p < 0.001). The slope of the streambed through the disturbance was a stronger predictor of the magnitude of the response than was the magnitude of disturbance. Ammonia and organic nitrogen displayed notable increases after harvest treatment, but these increases were attributed to increases in the control watersheds. Phosphorus showed a response to timber harvest in one headwater stream. The remaining nutrients showed a small decrease in the control and treatment watersheds for the period after harvest. The storm response results showed that NO3 + NO2 concentrations in stream water increase with discharge during small storms that occur after periods of negligible precipitation.

DISCIPLINE: Hydrology & Water Quality    STUDY: Hinkle Creek    TYPE: Presentations    TAGS: timber harvest, Nitrate Response, topography, clearcut
The Effects of Stream Adjacent Logging on Downstream Populations of Coastal Cutthroat Trout
Bateman, D.S., R.E. Gresswell, A.M. Berger, D.P. Hockman-Wert, D.W. Leer
Apr-18-2013

Here we evaluate the response of a headwater fish community to forest management using a before, after, control, impact (BACI) study design. Annual fish abundance and biomass estimates are from a census of pool and cascade habitat units over the fish-bearing portion of both the reference and treatment catchments. Movement, survival, and growth were estimated from the monitoring and recapture of salmonids marked with passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags. Sampling consisted of an annual electrofishing and marking event during the low-flow period (2001-2011), and beginning in the winter of 2003, there were three annual mobile antenna PIT-tag survey events in December, March, and June. Additionally, continuously operating swim-through antennas were located at the downstream end of each stream segment. The study calibration phase occurred 2001-05. Treatment-1 (2006-2008) consisted of stream adjacent logging without retention of standing tree buffers with harvest units occurring in channels upstream from channel sections inhabited by fish. During Treatment-2 (2009-2011), there was stream adjacent logging with standard buffers as prescribed by current forest practice regulations. Analysis occurred at two spatial scales, tributaries only and catchments. Overall, very few detectable changes in habitat or biologic parameters were observed in conjunction with either treatment.

DISCIPLINE: Fisheries    STUDY: Hinkle Creek    TYPE: Presentations    TAGS: Fish, coastal cutthroat trout, logging, Oregon Forest Practices Rules, Habitat response

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