Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Dr. George Pess
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Riparian Ecology and Management

Riparian zones are one of the key drivers of salmon habitat quantity and quality, especially where riparian buffers protect the stream from adjacent land uses. For nearly two decades we have been investigating the ecological connections between riparian zones and streams. A particular focus of these efforts has been quantifying the effectiveness of riparian buffers and riparian restoration in supporting stream ecological function.

Our riparian research includes studies of:

Research Products

Riparian-stream interactions

Acker, S., T. Beechie, and P. Shafroth. 2008. Effects of a natural dam-break flood on geomorphology and vegetation on the Elwha River, Washington, U.S.A. Special issue on dam removal and ecosystem restoration in the Elwha River watershed, Washington State. Northwest Science 82:210-223.

Beechie, T.J., M. Liermann, M.M. Pollock, S. Baker, and J.R. Davies. 2006. Channel pattern and river-floodplain dynamics in forested mountain river systems. Geomorphology 78(1-2):124-141.

Kiffney, P.M., and J.P. Bull. 2000. Factors controlling periphyton accrual during summer in headwater streams of southwestern British Columbia, Canada. Journal of Freshwater Ecology 15:339-351.

Kiffney, P., and J. Richardson. 2010. Organic matter inputs into headwater streams of southwestern British Columbia as a function of riparian reserves and time since logging. Forest Ecology and Management 260: 1931-1942.

Kiffney, P.M., J.S. Richardson, and M.C. Feller. 2000. Fluvial and epilithic organic matter dynamics in small streams of southwestern British Columbia, Canada. Archives of Hydrobiology 149:109-129.

Kloehn, K.K., T.J. Beechie, S.A. Morley, H.J. Coe, and J.J. Duda. 2008. Influence of dams on river-floodplain dynamics in the Elwha River, Washington. Special issue on dam removal and ecosystem restoration in the Elwha River watershed, Washington State, Northwest Science 82:224-235.

Naiman, R.J., J.S. Bechtold, T. Beechie, J.J. Latterell, and R. Van Pelt. 2010. A process-based view of floodplain forest dynamics in coastal river valleys of the Pacific Northwest. Ecosystems 13:1-31.

Pollock, M.M., M. Heim, and D. Werner. 2003. Hydrologic and geomorphic effects of beaver dams and their influence on fishes. Pages 213-233 in S. V. Gregory, K. L. Boyer and A. M. Gurnell, editors. The ecology and management of wood in world rivers - proceedings of the international conference on wood in world rivers. Volume 37. American Fisheries Society, Corvallis, Oregon.

Pollock, M.M., G.R. Pess, T.J. Beechie, and D.R. Montgomery. 2004. The importance of beaver ponds to coho salmon production in the Stillaguamish River basin, Washington, USA. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 24:749-760.

Volk, C.J., and P.M. Kiffney. 2012. Comparison of fatty acids and elemental nutrients in periphyton, invertebrates, and cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki) in conifer and alder-dominated watersheds of western Washington State. Aquatic Ecology 46:85-89.

Volk, C.J., P.M. Kiffney, and R.L. Edmonds. 2003. Role of riparian red alder in the nutrient dynamics of coastal streams of the Olympic Peninsula, Washington, USA. Pages 213-225 in J. Stockner, editor. Nutrients in salmonid ecosystems: sustaining production and biodiversity. American Fisheries Society Symposium, Bethesda, Maryland.

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Riparian thinning and management

Beechie, T.J., G. Pess, P. Kennard, R.E. Bilby, and S. Bolton. 2000. Modeling recovery rates and pathways for woody debris recruitment in northwestern Washington streams. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 20:436-452.

Fullerton, A.H., T.J. Beechie, S.E. Baker, J.E. Hall, and K.A. Barnas. 2006. Regional patterns of riparian characteristics in the interior Columbia River basin, Northwestern USA: applications for restoration planning. Landscape Ecology 21(8):1347-1360.

Kiffney, P., and J. Richardson. 2010. Organic matter inputs into headwater streams of southwestern British Columbia as a function of riparian reserves and time since logging. Forest Ecology and Management 260:1931-1942.

Kiffney, P.M., J.S. Richardson, and J.P. Bull. 2004. Establishing light as a causal mechanism structuring stream communities in response to experimental manipulation of riparian buffer width. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 23:542-555.

Kiffney, P.M., J.S. Richardson, and J.P. Bull. 2003. Responses of periphyton and insect consumers to experimental manipulation of riparian buffer width along headwater streams. Journal of the American Water Resources Association 40:1060-1076.

Pollock, M.M., and T.J. Beechie. 2010. Response: stream temperature relationships to forest harvest in western Washington. Journal of the American Water Resources Association 46:843-847.

Pollock, M.M., T.J. Beechie, and H. Imaki. 2012. Reference conditions for late-successional Douglas-fir dominated riparian and upland forests of the Pacific Coastal ecoregion.

Pollock, M., T.J. Beechie, and M. Liermann. 2009. Stream Temperature Relationships to Forest Harvest in Western Washington. Journal of the American Water Resources Association 45:141-156.

Welty, J.T., T.J. Beechie, K. Sullivan, D.M. Hyink, R.E. Bilby, C. Andrus, and G. Pess. 2002. Riparian Aquatic Interaction Simulator (RAIS): a model of riparian forest dynamics for the generation of large woody debris and shade. Forest Ecology and Management 162:299-318.

See our Riparian Restoration research products.

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