OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

A Synthesis of the Impacts of Contemporary Forest Practices on Aquatic Ecosystems at a Watershed Scale: A Case Study from Hinkle Creek

Skaugset, A., M. Adams, D. Bateman, K. Cromack, L. Ganio, and B. Gerth
Apr-18-2013

The Hinkle Creek Paired Watershed Study was initiated to carry out two overarching goals: to investigate the environmental impact of contemporary forest practices on non-fish-bearing streams and downstream in tributary and main stem fish-bearing streams. This presentation serves as a summary of some of the results for the studies in Hinkle Creek.  Statistically significant increases in water yield, summer low flows, peak flows, and storm flows were detected as a consequence of timber harvest and the subsequent silvicultural activities. Statistically significant increases in sediment yield were also detected. The increases in sediment yield were not consistent with the literature; however they were highly correlated with the observed increases in water yield. Statistically significant increases and decreases were detected in maximum and minimum daily stream temperatures in the non-fish-bearing tributaries, fish-bearing tributaries, and the main stem as a consequence of the two harvest entries. Statistically significant increases in nitrogen were detected as a consequence of the timber harvest and the subsequent silvicultural activities. Nitrogen was the only nutrient that responded to the silvicultural activities. In Hinkle Creek the pacific giant salamander was the only amphibian that was abundant enough to study. In the two years after the first harvest entry, the data did not support the hypothesis that there was any change in the abundance of salamanders.

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