Washington’s Riparian Ecosystem Management Study (REMS):

Washington’s Riparian Ecosystem Management Study (REMS): Washington’s Riparian Ecosystem Management Study (REMS): - Start

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Presentations text content in Washington’s Riparian Ecosystem Management Study (REMS):

Slide1

Washington’s Riparian Ecosystem Management Study (REMS): Approaches, Surprises, and Lessons Learned from 12 Years of Headwater Stream Research Peter A. BissonRichard E. BigleyAlex D. FosterShannon M. ClaesonSteven M. Wondzell

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NASA

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Skokomish

Queets

Humptulips

Clearwater

Hoh

Sol Duc

Hoko

Fulton

Riparian Ecosystem

Management Study – Phase 1Location of study sites1996-1999

Olympic National Park

Riparian condition:

no buffers

narrow (<20 m) buffers

thinned buffers

unlogged

Slide5

We surveyed:

Fishes Amphibians Assemblages

Cutthroat trout Tailed frog All fish species

Torrent

sculpin

Cope’s giant salamander All stream-

dwelling

Coastrange

sculpin

Torrent salamander amphibians

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Environmental variables

Site-level

Landscape-level

In-stream features

Watershed attributes

Channel gradient Watershed area

% pools Drainage density

% riffles & cascades Mean elevation

% glides % south-facing

% silt & sand % steep slopes (>60%)

% gravel & pebble

% cobble

Riparian forest age

% boulder & bedrock % early-

seral

riparian zone

% mid-

seral

riparian zone

% late-

seral

riparian zone

Upland conditions

% early-

seral

upland forest

% mid-

seral

upland forest

% late-

seral

upland forest

Road density

Landslides/debris torrents

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For headwater trout and sculpins, there was a negative association between abundance and late-seral riparian forest; however, fish tended to be most strongly influenced by in-stream habitat.Fish abundance was positively correlated with riparian and watershed features associated with increased primary production.

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Amphibians responded positively to late-seral riparian forest and the amount of late-seral forest in their watersheds. Their abundance was negatively correlated with roads.

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Northwest Forest Plan Aquatic Conservation Strategy

Reeves et al. 2006

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Adaptive Management Areas – intended to provide site flexibility

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Surprise #1

Despite the designation of Adaptive Management Areas (AMAs) under the Northwest Forest Plan, we were unable to convince National Forests in western Washington to implement a series of experimental riparian treatments at the small watershed scale.

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Landsat

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BACI-type study of alternative riparian management in clusters of small watersheds

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DNR

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Unlogged controls

Continuous (“fixed-width) buffers

Discontinuous (“patch cut”) buffers

No buffers

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Capitol Forest

Willapa Hills

Seattle

Washington State

22 Streams in 6 Blocks in 2 Forests

See Control Continuous Clearcut

Rot Control Continuous Patch

Tags Control Continuous Patch Patch Clearcut

Ells Control Continuous Clearcut

Split Control Continuous Clearcut Clearcut

Lonely Control Continuous Patch Clearcut

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Surprise #2

A completely randomized block design was stymied by engineering considerations. Control watersheds were always at the end of a cluster.

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Surprise #3

Despite good intentions, implementing the treatments didn’t always go as planned. Buffers were not always consistent and logging took place over two years instead of one.

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Control

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Continuous/fixed width

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Discontinuous/patch cut

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No buffer

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Surprise #4

Drought conditions prevailed through much of the study, especially the early years!

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Surprise #5

Unanticipated post-logging site preparation treatments!

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Surprise #6

Large wind storms and blowdown at some of the sites!

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In-stream measurements

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Unbuffered streams were significantly warmer, but… Temperature increases were small Trend did not match buffer design, and Responses within treatments were highly variable Temperature responses were correlated with streambed texture, wetlands, and length of stream Surface area exposure Amount of hyporheic exchange

Temperature

Summary:

Slide35

Terrestrial Mites & Collembola abundance

Abundance increased in all logged sites, relative to the Control.

-0.5

-0.4

-0.3

-0.2

-0.1

0

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

Log (Trt / Control)

PRE

POST 1

POST 2

(mean + 1 SE)

Continuous Control

Patch Control

Clearcut Control

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Mayfly abundance

Ephemeroptera =

Paraleptophlebia, Baetis, Diphetor, Heptageniidae sp.

Log (Trt / Control)

(mean + 1 SE)

Continuous Control

Patch Control

Clearcut Control

PRE

POST 1

POST 2

-0.8

-0.6

-0.4

-0.2

0

0.2

0.4

0.6

Abundance tended to

decrease

in all logged sites (esp.

clearcut

) 2

nd

year post-harvest, relative to the Control.

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Stonefly abundance

Plecoptera =

Zapada, Soyedina, Sweltsa, Isoperla

Log (Trt / Control)

(mean + 1 SE)

Continuous Control

Patch Control

PRE

POST 1

POST 2

-0.6

-0.5

-0.4

-0.3

-0.2

-0.1

0

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

Abundance

decreased

in the

unbuffered

sites 1

st

year post-harvest, relative to the Control.

Clearcut Control

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Litterfall

measurements

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Litter fall total dry mass

Litter-fall

decreased in the clearcut sites, relative to the Controls.

Clearcut

Control

Log (Trt / Control

)

(mean + 1 SE)

-0.3

-0.2

-0.1

0

0.1

PRE

POST 1

POST 2

Continuous Control

Patch Control

Clearcut Control

Slide40

Shredder abundance

Zapada, Soyedina, Lara, Yoraperla, Moselia

Shredder abundance decreased in the clearcut sites, relative to the Controls.

-0.6

-0.4

-0.2

0

0.2

0.4

Log (Trt / Control

)

(mean + 1 SE)

PRE

POST 1

POST 2

Continuous Control

Patch Control

Clearcut Control

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Riparian mollusks

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Warty jumping slug

Polydesmid millipede

P. Bisson

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Capitol Forest Block

Period

Fall 02

Spring 03

Fall 03

Fall 04

Spring 05

Fall 05

Spring 06

Mollusk Density m

2

0

2

4

6

8

10

12

Control

Fixed Width

No Buffer

Before

After

Willapa Block A

Period

Spring 04

Fall 04

Spring 05

Fall 05

Spring 06

0

2

4

6

8

10

12

Control

Fixed Width

No Buffer

Before

After

Mollusk Density m

2

Willapa Block B

Period

Fall 02

Spring 03

Fall 03

Fall 04

Spring 05

Fall 05

Spring 06

0

2

4

6

8

10

12

Control

Fixed Width

No Buffer - B

No Buffer - E

Before

After

Mollusk Density m

2

Slide44

Conclusions

Setting up and implementing a BACI-type study at the small watershed scale was a pain! Patience and a willingness to adapt to surprises were needed.

The initial 2 year pre-treatment and 2-3 year post-treatment monitoring period was inadequate for many response metrics, but the watersheds were changing anyway and it was difficult to interpret results.

Preliminary findings suggest that biophysical changes in the streams and riparian zones were not great after logging, but differences were most apparent in sites without stream buffers.

Analyses were often confounded by unanticipated events.

Slide45

Use a design strategy that employs legitimate treatment-control sites, or that randomizes treatment assignment over enough sites that differences average out.Verify, with power analysis, that the proposed design is adequate to resolve the anticipated effect, given available estimates of pertinent variability, including uncontrolled environmental variation and random site differences.Implement the design, and stick with it until you resolve the important question(s) or until the data show that the actual uncontrolled variation is so different from what was assumed during the planning phase that the design is not adequate to resolve the question.Don’t be afraid to investigate novel response metrics.

Lessons learned…

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