Canadian Forest Service Publications

Mountain pine beetle and salvage harvesting influence on small stream riparian zones. 2009. Rex, J.; Krauskopf, P.; Maloney, D.; Tschaplinski, P.J. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Pacific Forestry Centre, Victoria, BC. Mountain Pine Beetle Working Paper 2009-17. 48 p.

Year: 2009

Available from: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 31183

Language: English

Series: Mountain Pine Beetle Working Paper (PFC - Victoria)

CFS Availability: Order paper copy (free), PDF (download)

Abstract

We investigated the influence of the mountain pine beetle infestation and salvage harvesting on small stream and riparian zone ecological function, shade, and temperature. Small streams (less than a 2 m bankfull width) were selected because they are the most prominent stream type within a watershed and they determine many ecological characteristics of larger downstream channels. Due to their prominence, they are also the most frequently encountered channel type during forest-harvesting activities, and they have no legislated riparian reserve zones. Riparian areas within the pine-dominated watersheds studied here were primarily comprised of spruce, whereas upland areas were comprised of pine. Field assessment of 39 small streams (n = 19 control and 20 treatment) indicated that grey attack channel reaches had properly functioning riparian areas and streams, whereas salvage-harvested areas were functioning with some level of impairment. Shade levels were significantly lower in harvested areas, which allowed greater light penetration compared to the higher-shade mountain pine beetle-affected streams. Air temperature was also significantly higher above streams with salvage-harvested riparian zones. Stream temperature, in contrast, showed a variable response. Small streams of groundwater origins did not exhibit significant differences in warming trends between control and treatment reaches. Small streams with surface-water origins, such as those from lakes and wetlands, exhibited a significant decrease in cooling in harvested reaches compared to their control reaches.

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