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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Research Watersheds: Opportunities for Long-Term Biodiversity Monitoring and Research

Authors
item Slaughter, Charles
item Spaeth Kenneth E, - SCS
item Viereck Leslie A, - USFS
item Hanson, Clayton

Submitted to: Forest Biodiversity Sypmosium Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: March 22, 1996
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Biological diversity of forest and range ecosystems may be studied in the larger context of long-term research watershed programs. The value and utility of baseline information acquired at biodiversity plots may be complemented and enhanced by features common to many sustained watershed research endeavours. Established research watershed programs offer: a landscape-scale context for plot studies; an interdisciplinary base of research and monitoring over many years to many decades; long-term annotated, reviewed data bases; concomitant process research complementary to biodiversity plots research; and a sustained institutional committment which may be difficult to achieve for free-standing plot studies. Specific examples are offered by two established research watershed programs in which biodiversity research has been initiated. The 234 km2 Reynolds Creek Experimental Watershed was established in southwestern Idaho in 1960 to address questions of watershed hydrology in semiarid rangelands of the interior Pacific Northwest. The 104 km2 Caribou-Poker Creeks Research Watershed was established in 1969 for conduct of hydrologic and ecosystem research in the discontinuous-permafrost uplands of central Alaska. Biodiversity research and monitoring has been initiated into rangeland (RCEW) and boreal forest (CPCRW) ecosystems in these research watersheds, utilizing both exclosures and permanently-marked plots. Each site offers a documented, annotated long-term data base for hydrologic, stream quality and climatic parameters, and careful site documentation including geology, soils, vegetation and land use history. Each site is currently utilized for ecosystem process research, and each is incorporated into

Last Modified: 10/25/2014
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