Stream temperature response to partial canopy removal in first and second order streams in the central Oregon Cascades Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_projects/3b591941t

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  • Stream temperature response of first and second order streams to the Blue River Landscape Study (BRLS), an alternative land management strategy based on historic fire regimes, was analyzed in the central Oregon Cascades. The BRLS treatment prescription of a 50% canopy reduction and low intensity burn was applied with a 15 to 20 meter stream buffer in one watershed and with no buffer in an adjacent watershed. August minimum and maximum daily stream temperatures in the buffered watershed increased by 1.0°C during the first year after canopy removal before returning to pre-treatment levels during the second year after canopy removal and the first year after the watershed burn. Stream temperatures in the unbuffered watershed remained within the pre-treatment ranges after the BLRS treatments were applied. The relatively small percentage of canopy removal combined with phreatic and hyporehic groundwater inputs to the stream and significant topographic shading contributed to the minimal stream temperature response to the treatments. The buffered watershed showed a slightly higher response to the treatments than the unbuffered watershed. This greater response to the treatments is attributed to a lesser degree of topographic shading in the buffered watershed when compared to the unbuffered watershed, which resulted in a comparatively higher increase in solar radiation received by the stream that was not completely offset by the relatively narrow riparian buffer.
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