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Large woody debris and geomorphic influences on stream morphology within the transitional climatic zone of the northern Oregon Cascades Public Deposited

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  • Loss of anadromous and resident fish habitat has become an increasing concern in the Columbia River Basin. Forest management practices play a role in the health of headwater stream habitat. The effects of instream large woody debris is known to effect stream morphology and fish habitat. This paper considers effects of large woody debris on second-tofourth order streams in the West Fork of the Hood River watershed in the transitional climatic zone of the northern Oregon Cascades. Pool size and spacing were compared between stream segments having large accumulations of woody debris and segments having small accumulations. Woody debris accumulations and pool characteristics in clearcut segments with riparian buffer strips were compared with debris and pools in unbuffered clearcut segments. Geomorphological effects on pool spacing were examined in two geologically different streams. Accumulations of large woody debris increased mean pool area and decreased mean distance between pools if large woody debris did not bridge stream channels. In most cases, riparian buffer strips led to retention of coarse woody debris in stream channels and contributed to pool formation and short interpool riffles. Rhythmic pool spacing was not prominent in active glacial streams. The effects of large woody debris are not continuous within a stream or watershed as varied hydraulic power and changing geomorphology introduce factors that can alter its impact.
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