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    Author(s): Carolyn T. HunsakerJonathan W. Long; David B. Herbst
    Date: 2014
    Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-247. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 265-322. Chap. 6.1
    Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
    Station: Pacific Southwest Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (1.63 MB)


    Water and aquatic ecosystems in the synthesis area have high social, cultural, and ecological values. National forests in the synthesis area are a major source of water supply, hydropower, and recreational activity for much of California. Recent research has provided more information on water and nutrient budgets; these data are fundamental to understanding the interaction of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, current forest conditions, and response to stressors. Rapid changes in climate pose a threat to water resources, as warming has produced a shift toward more precipitation falling as rain than snow, which reduces snowpack water storage, causes earlier runoff, increases the frequency of major floods through rain-on-snow events, and diminishes late-season flows and the stability of headwater habitats. Because climate change is expected to increase impacts from storms and wildfires, flooding and sediment movement may increase, which could in turn reduce channel stability and habitat quality. Hydrologic response to climate change is expected to be different for the northern, central, and southern Sierra Nevada.

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    Hunsaker, C.T.; Long, J.W.; Herbst, D.B. 2014. Watershed and stream ecosystems. In: Long, J.W.; Quinn-Davidson, L.; Skinner, C.N., eds. Science synthesis to support socioecological resilience in the Sierra Nevada and southern Cascade Range. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-247. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 265-322. Chap. 6.1.


    ecological restoration, socioecological systems, ecosystem resilience, forest planning, fire management, altered fire regimes, wildfire, climate change, anthropogenic disturbance, invasive species, water resources, species of conservation concern, California

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