Event Title

Assessing the Influence of Landscape Characteristic on Stream Temperature within the Idaho Batholith Ecoregion

Location

Eccles Conference Center

Event Website

http://water.usu.edu/

Start Date

4-2-2009 8:20 AM

End Date

4-2-2009 8:40 AM

Description

Increases in stream temperatures have been identified as a major factor contributing to the loss of quality in-stream habitat and the decline of sensitive fish species within the Columbia River Basin. Aquatic systems have long been recognized as products of the surrounding landscape, but at present, there is a limited understanding of how landscape characteristics such as climate, topography and vegetation influence stream temperatures. We used Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to derive landscape metrics for 192 catchments within the Idaho Batholith Ecoregion of central Idaho and western Montana and used structural equation modeling (SEM) to test hypotheses regarding the relative influences of landscape characteristics on mean and maximum summertime stream temperatures. Preliminary findings suggest that both broad-scale and local-scale landscape characteristics including elevation, air temperature, topographic shading, and riparian shading are important contributing factors to the spatial variation of stream temperature. Our analysis also suggests that the preservation and restoration of riparian vegetation should continue to be emphasized when considering restoration and management strategies aimed at decreasing stream temperatures.

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Apr 2nd, 8:20 AM Apr 2nd, 8:40 AM

Assessing the Influence of Landscape Characteristic on Stream Temperature within the Idaho Batholith Ecoregion

Eccles Conference Center

Increases in stream temperatures have been identified as a major factor contributing to the loss of quality in-stream habitat and the decline of sensitive fish species within the Columbia River Basin. Aquatic systems have long been recognized as products of the surrounding landscape, but at present, there is a limited understanding of how landscape characteristics such as climate, topography and vegetation influence stream temperatures. We used Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to derive landscape metrics for 192 catchments within the Idaho Batholith Ecoregion of central Idaho and western Montana and used structural equation modeling (SEM) to test hypotheses regarding the relative influences of landscape characteristics on mean and maximum summertime stream temperatures. Preliminary findings suggest that both broad-scale and local-scale landscape characteristics including elevation, air temperature, topographic shading, and riparian shading are important contributing factors to the spatial variation of stream temperature. Our analysis also suggests that the preservation and restoration of riparian vegetation should continue to be emphasized when considering restoration and management strategies aimed at decreasing stream temperatures.

https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/runoff/2009/AllAbstracts/21