Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

Title: Design and management of linkage areas across headwater drainages to conserve biodiversity in forest ecosystems

Author: Olson, Deanna H.; Burnett, Kelly M.;

Date: 2009

Source: Forest Ecology and Management. 258S: S117-S126

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Biota in managed forest landscapes may be at risk from habitat fragmentation that prevents dispersal among subpopulations. Management provisions to provide connectivity are often considered independently for aquatic and terrestrial species. Of increasing concern is that dichotomous approaches are economically inefficient and may fragment populations that rely on both water and land. To provide habitat connectivity over ridgelines for such populations, which include many species of amphibians and arthropods, we propose designation of headwater "linkage areas." Essentially, we propose that headwater ridgelines be managed as important "linkage areas" to retain forested areas for species dispersal. Our process of linkage area planning, as demonstrated for headwater streams in the Coast Range of Oregon, USA, includes considerations at three spatial scales: landscape, drainage basin, and forest stand. At the landscape scale, linking headwater drainages across 7th-code hydrologic units (HUs) is a practical design regarding landscape connectivity for headwater species. In the Coast Range, each 7th-code HU adjoins an average of six 7th-code HUs. If each of these were linked via extending buffers or alternative forest management practices, about 5000 linkage areas would be provided in the 2.3-million ha landscape. We propose that the layout of such links considers site-to-landscape scale factors including known locations of target species, existing protections, land ownership patterns, dispersal capability of species of concern, climate change predictions, and the natural disturbance regime, such as landslide prone areas for managing wood and sediment inputs to streams. Although the proposed linkage areas target sensitive headwater species by design, the resulting web of connection across the landscape can be expected to benefit a host of forest-dependent species.

Keywords: headwater stream, connectivity, riparian buffer, species diversity, dispersal corridors, forest conservation

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Olson, Deanna H.; Burnett, Kelly M. 2009. Design and management of linkage areas across headwater drainages to conserve biodiversity in forest ecosystems. Forest Ecology and Management. 258S: S117-S126.


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.