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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 - NRCS
item Viereck, Les - USFS
item Hanson, Clayton

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

Interpretive Summary: Research watershed programs offer: 1) a landscape-scale context for plot studies; 2)an interdisciplinary base of research and monitoring over many years to many decades; 3) long-term annotated, reviewed data bases; 4) concomitant process research which is complementary to biodiversity plots research; and 5) a sustained institutional commitment. Examples are offered by two established research watershed programs. The 234 km2 Reynolds Creek Experimental Watershed was established in southwestern Idaho in 1960 to study 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 discontinuous-permafrost boreal forest uplands of central Alaska. Biodiversity research and monitoring has been initiated in these watersheds, utilizing both exclosures and permanently-marked plots. These sites offer documented, annotated long-term data bases for hydrologic, stream quality, and climatic parameters, geology, soils, vegetation and land use history. Each site is currently utilized for ecosystem process research and is incorporated into national and international cooperative programs. Such sites offer attractive opportunities for long-term biological diversity research and monitoring.

Technical Abstract: Research watershed programs offer: 1) a landscape-scale context for plot studies; 2)an interdisciplinary base of research and monitoring over many years to many decades; 3) long-term annotated, reviewed data bases; 4) concomitant process research which is complementary to biodiversity plots research; and 5) a sustained institutional commitment. Examples are offered by two established research watershed programs. The 234 km2 Reynolds Creek Experimental Watershed was established in southwestern Idaho in 1960 to study 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 discontinuous-permafrost boreal forest uplands of central Alaska. Biodiversity research and monitoring has been initiated in these watersheds, utilizing both exclosures and permanently-marked plots. These sites offer documented, annotated long-term data bases for hydrologic, stream quality, and climatic parameters, geology, soils, vegetation and land use history. Each site is currently utilized for ecosystem process research and is incorporated into national and international cooperative programs. Such sites offer attractive opportunities for long-term biological diversity research and monitoring.

Last Modified: 10/23/2014
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