Forest ThreatNet

Volume 8, Issue 3 - July/August 2015

Eastern Threat Center Highlights Cont'd

Model Comparison Study Helps Aquatic Wildlife Managers Navigate the River of Streamflow Models

Chattahoochee RiverClimate change, land cover change, and withdrawals threaten aquatic ecosystem health in the Southeast, so managers rely on hydrologic models to predict streamflow changes as a result of these threats. But how do the many available models compare? A Southern Research Station-led study involving Eastern Threat Center researchers applied six models (including the Water Supply Stress Index) ranging in complexity to five study sites in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin, an important source of water for people and aquatic ecosystems. Researchers found that all models were comparable and fairly accurate at predicting streamflow, with model calibration and available data being key factors in model performance. Read more in CompassLive...

Chattahoochee River. Photo by Mike Gonzalez, Wikimedia Commons.



Following a Clearcut, Riparian Buffer Trees Use More Water

Trees growing along a waterway surrounded by fieldsMaintaining a riparian buffer--an area of standing trees along a river or stream--is an important best management practice that protects water quality. When trees are harvested, the amount of water flowing through streams usually increases, but researchers have not previously known if changes in water use by riparian buffer trees could affect flow amounts (stream discharge). A recently published study in North Carolina State University’s Hill Demonstration Forest led by Eastern Threat Center biological scientist Johnny Boggs found that, after a clearcut, remaining buffer trees used 43 percent more water. These water use changes lessened the expected stream discharge increases and associated water quality impacts in downstream areas. Read more in CompassLive...

Maintaining a riparian buffer is an important best management practice. Photo by Duk, Wikimedia Commons.


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