Rivers are exposed to changing environmental conditions over multiple spatial and temporal scales, with the imposed environmental conditions and response potential of the river modulated to varying degrees by human activity and our exploitation of natural resources.
Published research emphasizes rapid downstream export of terrestrial carbon from headwaters, but few studies have investigated the volume of carbon storage along stream-riparian corridors.
A considerable investment in post-fire research over the past decade has improved our understanding of the effects of wildfire. Loss of vegetation exposes soil to erosion, runoff may increase and cause flooding, sediments may move downstream and damage houses or fill reservoirs, and put endangered species and community water supplies at risk.
Bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) are native to much of the Pacific Northwest, and although the species remains widely distributed, population declines prompted listing under the Endangered Species Act in 1999. As part of the recovery process, monitoring of bull trout populations for determination of status and trend is required.
Like many fishes native to the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Northwest, bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) have declined in response to changes in flow regimes, habitat alteration, and invasion of non-native species. Climate change has only exacerbated these conditions and, as a result, the species is now distributed in highly fragmented populations throughout its range.
Climate change is altering the amount, timing, and quality of water we receive from winter snow pack. In turn, the resulting effects on forest and aquatic ecosystems of the Mountain West are cascading into further shifts in water supply to downstream farms and cities. As mountain streams change, so too will forests. Fire will play an increasingly important role in shaping forest and stream ecosystems as the climate changes.
This website was constructed to increase the awareness of high elevation white pine species, their ecologies and the threats that face them: http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/highelevationwhitepines.
Projections of a rapidly changing climate and increasing human population have led to calls for broadscale biodiversity assessments that can serve as benchmarks for identifying ecological change. Genetic tools have been used for such assessments for decades, but spatial sampling considerations have been overlooked.
Animals in aquatic environments—such as fish, amphibians, crayfish, and mussels—release DNA into the water via their feces, urine, and skin. This external DNA is called environmental DNA (eDNA). By filtering water samples and analyzing them for eDNA, one can determine whether a species is present without actually capturing or seeing an individual. Different species can be identified by using genetic markers that are unique to them.
Estimating the thermal response of streams to a warming climate is important for prioritizing fish conservation efforts. While many estimates of air temperature responses to climate change exist, the sensitivity of streams to warming temperatures is less well understood.