Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Multi-Objective Optimization of a Profitable and Environmentally Sustainable Agriculture to Produce Food and Fiber in a Changing Climate

Location: Forage Seed and Cereal Research

Title: Climate change and stream temperature projections in the Columbia River Basin: biological implications of spatial variation in hydrologic drivers

Authors
item Ficklin, D -
item Barnhart, Bradley
item Knouft, J -
item Stewart, I -
item Maurer, E -
item Letsinger, S -
item Whittaker, Gerald

Submitted to: Hydrology and Earth System Sciences
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 18, 2014
Publication Date: June 3, 2014
Citation: Ficklin, D.L., Barnhart, B.L., Knouft, J.H., Stewart, I.T., Maurer, E.P., Letsinger, S.L., Whittaker, G.W. 2014. Climate change and stream temperature projections in the Columbia River Basin: biological implications of spatial variation in hydrologic drivers. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences. 11:5793-5829.

Interpretive Summary: Stream temperature is one of the most influential parameters impacting the survival, growth rates, distribution, and migration patterns of many aquatic organisms. Distributed stream temperature models are crucial for providing insights into variations of stream temperature for regions and time periods where data does not exist. This study utilizes a relatively new stream temperature model incorporated into the well-known Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) in order to simulate stream temperatures at five sites on the Calapooia River, in northwest Oregon. An automatic calibration method is used to simultaneously fit the model to data at five sites. The results show that the new, integrated SWAT-temperature model can be calibrated to provide accurate simulations of environmental effects of agriculture practice that include water temperature.

Technical Abstract: Water temperature is a primary physical factor affecting aquatic organisms. Assessment of suitable thermal habitat in freshwater systems is critical for predicting aquatic species responses to changes in climate and for guiding adaptation strategies. We use a hydrologic model coupled with a stream temperature, and find that stream temperatures are projected to increase from 1.6 °C to 5.2°C, depending on the season. Many hydrological components, such as precipitation, surface runoff, lateral soil flow, and groundwater, are negatively correlated to increases in stream.

Last Modified: 9/22/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page