Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service
  
Treesearch

Research & Development Treesearch

 
Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Northern
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help
 

Science.gov - We Participate


USA.gov  Government Made Easy


Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.
20090-6090

(202) 205-8333

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

Publication Information

View PDF (1.1 MB)

Title: Descriptors of natural thermal regimes in streams and their responsiveness to change in the Pacific Northwest of North America

Author: Arismendi, Ivan; Johnson, Sherri L.; Dunham, Jason B.; Haggerty, Roy.;

Date: 2013

Source: Freshwater Biology

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description:

1. Temperature is a major driver of ecological processes in stream ecosystems, yet the dynamics of thermal regimes remain poorly described. Most work has focused on relatively simple descriptors that fail to capture the full range of conditions that characterise thermal regimes of streams across seasons or throughout the year.

2. To more completely describe thermal regimes, we developed several descriptors of magnitude, variability, frequency, duration and timing of thermal events throughout a year. We evaluated how these descriptors change over time using long-term (1979–2009), continuous temperature data from five relatively undisturbed cold-water streams in western Oregon, U.S.A. In addition to trends for each descriptor, we evaluated similarities among them, as well as patterns of spatial coherence, and temporal synchrony.

3. Using different groups of descriptors, we were able to more fully capture distinct aspects of the full range of variability in thermal regimes across space and time. A subset of descriptors showed both higher coherence and synchrony and, thus, an appropriate level of responsiveness to examine evidence of regional climatic influences on thermal regimes. Most notably, daily minimum values during winter–spring were the most responsive descriptors to potential climatic influences.

4. Overall, thermal regimes in streams we studied showed high frequency and low variability of cold temperatures during the cold-water period in winter and spring, and high frequency and high variability of warm temperatures during the warm-water period in summer and autumn. The cold and warm periods differed in the distribution of events with a higher frequency and longer duration of warm events in summer than cold events in winter. The cold period exhibited lower variability in the duration of events, but showed more variability in timing.

5. In conclusion, our results highlight the importance of a year-round perspective in identifying the most responsive characteristics or descriptors of thermal regimes in streams. The descriptors we provide herein can be applied across hydro-ecological regions to evaluate spatial and temporal patterns in thermal regimes. Evaluation of coherence and synchrony of different components of thermal regimes can facilitate identification of impacts of regional climate variability or local human or natural influences.

Keywords: coherence, global warming, North American streams, stream temperature, synchrony, trends

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.

XML: View XML

Citation:


Arismendi, Ivan; Johnson, Sherri L.; Dunham, Jason B.; Haggerty, Roy. 2013. Descriptors of natural thermal regimes in streams and their responsiveness to change in the Pacific Northwest of North America. Freshwater Biology. 58: 880-894.

 


 [ 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.