Event Title

Assessing Vegetation Change on Watershed Water Yield: An Interdisciplinary Research Program at USU

Presenter Information

Ronald Ryel

Location

Eccles Conference Center

Event Website

http://water.usu.edu/

Start Date

3-27-2006 4:15 PM

End Date

3-27-2006 4:30 PM

Description

Changes in vegetation composition and structure since the arrival of European settlers have been widespread in the Intermountain West. Loss of aspen forests to conifers and replacement of grass/shrub-steppe with pinyon-juniper forests and cheat grass are widespread vegetation changes that have occurred over the past century. Changes in forest composition are very evident in Utah, where the cover of quaking aspen has declined by an estimated 60%, with replacement largely by conifers. Concomitant with this loss of aspen has been a hypothesized loss of watershed water yield and changes in other resource values. An interdisciplinary research program at USU is looking at the importance of conifer encroachment into aspen stands as related to watershed water yield. Research is being conducted to assess how changes in snow accumulation, ablation, transpiration, and soil moisture recharge will affect surface water yield. In addition, the program is assessing the ecological consequences of both losing aspen and attempts to regenerate aspen.

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Mar 27th, 4:15 PM Mar 27th, 4:30 PM

Assessing Vegetation Change on Watershed Water Yield: An Interdisciplinary Research Program at USU

Eccles Conference Center

Changes in vegetation composition and structure since the arrival of European settlers have been widespread in the Intermountain West. Loss of aspen forests to conifers and replacement of grass/shrub-steppe with pinyon-juniper forests and cheat grass are widespread vegetation changes that have occurred over the past century. Changes in forest composition are very evident in Utah, where the cover of quaking aspen has declined by an estimated 60%, with replacement largely by conifers. Concomitant with this loss of aspen has been a hypothesized loss of watershed water yield and changes in other resource values. An interdisciplinary research program at USU is looking at the importance of conifer encroachment into aspen stands as related to watershed water yield. Research is being conducted to assess how changes in snow accumulation, ablation, transpiration, and soil moisture recharge will affect surface water yield. In addition, the program is assessing the ecological consequences of both losing aspen and attempts to regenerate aspen.

https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/runoff/2006/AllAbstracts/45