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Summer temperature patterns in the headwater streams of the Oregon coast rangeAuthor(s): Liz Dent; Danielle Vick; Kyle Abraham; Stephen Schoenholtz; Sherri Johnson
Source: Journal of the American Water Resources Association. 44(4): 803-813
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
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DescriptionCool summertime stream temperature is an important component of high-quality aquatic habitat in Oregon coastal streams. Within the Oregon Coast Range, small headwater streams make up a majority of the stream network, yet little information is available on temperature patterns and the longitudinal variability for these streams. In this paper we describe preharvest spatial and temporal patterns in summer stream temperature for small streams of the Oregon Coast Range in forests managed for timber production. We also explore relationships between stream and riparian attributes and observed stream temperature conditions and patterns. Summer stream temperature, channel, and riparian data were collected on 36 headwater streams in 2002, 2003, and 2004. Mean stream temperatures were consistent among summers and generally warmed in a downstream direction. However, longitudinal trends in maximum temperatures were more variable. At the reach scale of 0.5 to 1.7 km, maximum temperatures increased in 17 streams, decreased in 7 streams and did not change in 3 reaches. At the subreach scale (0.1 to 1.5 km), maximum temperatures increased in 28 subreaches, decreased in 14, and did not change in 12 subreaches. Models of increasing temperature in a downstream direction may oversimplify fine-scale patterns in small streams. Stream and riparian attributes that correlated with observed temperature patterns included cover, channel substrate, channel gradient, instream wood jam volume, riparian stand density, and geology type. Longitudinal patterns of stream temperature are an important consideration for background characterization of water quality. Studies attempting to evaluate stream temperature response to timber harvest or other modifications should quantify variability in longitudinal patterns of stream temperature prior to logging.
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CitationDent, Liz; Vick, Danielle; Abraham, Kyle; Schoenholtz, Stephen; Johnson, Sherri. 2008. Summer temperature patterns in the headwater streams of the Oregon coast range. Journal of the American Water Resources Association. 44(4): 803-813
KeywordsStream temperature, water quality, shade, cover, riparian forest, rivers/streams, headwater streams
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