Monitoring stream habitat conditions on the LPNF: the effects of wildfire, floods, and drought on freshwater ecosystems

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USDA Forest Service
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Ecology and Evolution

This project will combine water quality and physicochemical monitoring of streams affected by the Zaca and Piru Fires coupled with ancillary studies on effects to trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) fitness. We will perform long-term monitoring of dissolved oxygen concentrations and temperature in several streams within and proximate to the Zaca and Piru Fire burn perimeters. We will also measure pool depth, width, dominant substrates, current speed, riparian cover and species composition, and photo documentation at each stream location. Advances in long-term water quality data monitoring (e.g., data loggers and sondes) allow for continuous data collections through time and space. These long-term water quality data can then be related to biological communities and the responses of different organisms to fire, floods, and droughts. In particular, we are interested in how water quality relates to the fitness of endangered species populations (e.g., O. mykiss). These data will then improve our ability to manage protected species and provide insights into restoration and recovery.