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Indicator 3. Aquatic Habitat

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Ukraine Polyana Workshop July 2018
Michael D. Owen, Aquatic Ecologist, Monongahela National Forest, USDA Forest Service
Indicator 3: Aquatic Habitat
Indicator 3: Aquatic Habitat
WATERSHED CONDITION INDICATORS
(12 Indicator Model)
5. RIPARIAN VEGETATION
1. Vegetation Condition
AQUATIC
PHYSICAL
(Weight = 30%)
12. FOREST HEALTH
1. Insects and Disease
2. Ozone
11. TERRESTRIAL
INVASIVE SPECIES
1. Extent & Rate of Spread
AQUATIC
BIOLOGICAL
(Weight = 30%)
TERRESTRIAL
PHYSICAL
(Weight = 30%)
TERRESTRIAL
BIOLOGICAL
(Weight = 10%)
4. AQUATIC BIOTA
1. Life Form Presence
2. Native Species
3. Exotic and/or Invasive
Species
6. ROADS & TRAILS
1. Open Road Density
2. Road Maintenance
3. Proximity to Water
4. Mass Wasting
9. FOREST COVER
1. Loss of Forest Cover
7. SOILS
1. Soil Productivity
2. Soil Erosion
3. Soil Contamination
1. WATER QUALITY
1. Impaired Waters
(303d Listed)
2. Water Quality Problems
(Not Listed)
2. WATER QUANTITY
1. Flow Characteristics
10. RANGELAND
VEGETATION
1. Vegetation Condition
8. FIRE REGIME or
WILDFIRE
1. Fire Condition Class
OR
2. Wildfire Effects
3. AQUATIC HABITAT
1. Habitat Fragmentation
2. Large Woody Debris
3. Channel Shape and
Function
Purpose:
Address aquatic habitat condition
with respect to habitat
fragmentation, large woody
debris, and channel shape and
function.
Rationale:
Maintaining connectivity
between heterogeneous and
complex aquatic habitats at
multiple scales is recognized as
an important influence on
species diversity and ecosystem
stability (Sedell et al. 1990).
Indicator 3: Aquatic Habitat
Attributes:
3.1 Habitat Fragmentation (including AOP)
3.2 Large Woody Debris (LWD)
3.3 Channel Shape and Function
Additional Guidance:
• Rate LWD “Not Applicable” if presence of wood is not an important
process
Indicator 3: Aquatic Habitat
Rule Sets for Ratings
Condition Rating Functioning Properly (1) Functioning at Risk (2) Impaired Function (3)
Indicator 3
Aquatic Habitat
High quality habitat and
channel conditions
some high quality
conditions and some
degraded conditions
Mostly degraded
habitat and channel
conditions
3.1 Habitat
Fragmentation
>95% of historic habitats
are still connected
25% to 95% of historic
habitats are still
connected
<25% of historic
habitats are still
connected
3.2 Large Woody
Debris (LWD)
LWD is present and
being recruited at near
natural rates
LWD may be present
but abundance or
recruitment is less than
natural rates
LWD abundance and
recruitment is lacking
and impacting
aquatic habitat
3.3 Channel
Shape and
Function
<5% of stream channels
show evidence of
excessive (geo-fluvial)
instability
5% to 25% of stream
channels show evidence
of excessive (geo-fluvial)
instability
>25% of stream
channels show
evidence of excessive
(geo-fluvial)
instability
Indicator 3: Aquatic Habitat
• When a larger region of
aquatic habitat becomes
divided into a collection of
smaller habitat patches
which isolate populations of
aquatic organisms.
• This can occur when physical
barriers are introduced or
when habitat conditions
become unsuitable and
interrupt natural migration
patterns of aquatic
organisms.
Attribute 3.1 - Habitat Fragmentation
Approximately 104 stream
miles of 263 stream miles
affected by AOP issues
Indicator 3: Aquatic Habitat
3.1 Habitat Fragmentation
How it can look What it can affect

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3 aquatic habitat_english_071418

  • 1. Ukraine Polyana Workshop July 2018 Michael D. Owen, Aquatic Ecologist, Monongahela National Forest, USDA Forest Service Indicator 3: Aquatic Habitat
  • 2. Indicator 3: Aquatic Habitat WATERSHED CONDITION INDICATORS (12 Indicator Model) 5. RIPARIAN VEGETATION 1. Vegetation Condition AQUATIC PHYSICAL (Weight = 30%) 12. FOREST HEALTH 1. Insects and Disease 2. Ozone 11. TERRESTRIAL INVASIVE SPECIES 1. Extent & Rate of Spread AQUATIC BIOLOGICAL (Weight = 30%) TERRESTRIAL PHYSICAL (Weight = 30%) TERRESTRIAL BIOLOGICAL (Weight = 10%) 4. AQUATIC BIOTA 1. Life Form Presence 2. Native Species 3. Exotic and/or Invasive Species 6. ROADS & TRAILS 1. Open Road Density 2. Road Maintenance 3. Proximity to Water 4. Mass Wasting 9. FOREST COVER 1. Loss of Forest Cover 7. SOILS 1. Soil Productivity 2. Soil Erosion 3. Soil Contamination 1. WATER QUALITY 1. Impaired Waters (303d Listed) 2. Water Quality Problems (Not Listed) 2. WATER QUANTITY 1. Flow Characteristics 10. RANGELAND VEGETATION 1. Vegetation Condition 8. FIRE REGIME or WILDFIRE 1. Fire Condition Class OR 2. Wildfire Effects 3. AQUATIC HABITAT 1. Habitat Fragmentation 2. Large Woody Debris 3. Channel Shape and Function Purpose: Address aquatic habitat condition with respect to habitat fragmentation, large woody debris, and channel shape and function. Rationale: Maintaining connectivity between heterogeneous and complex aquatic habitats at multiple scales is recognized as an important influence on species diversity and ecosystem stability (Sedell et al. 1990).
  • 3. Indicator 3: Aquatic Habitat Attributes: 3.1 Habitat Fragmentation (including AOP) 3.2 Large Woody Debris (LWD) 3.3 Channel Shape and Function Additional Guidance: • Rate LWD “Not Applicable” if presence of wood is not an important process
  • 4. Indicator 3: Aquatic Habitat Rule Sets for Ratings Condition Rating Functioning Properly (1) Functioning at Risk (2) Impaired Function (3) Indicator 3 Aquatic Habitat High quality habitat and channel conditions some high quality conditions and some degraded conditions Mostly degraded habitat and channel conditions 3.1 Habitat Fragmentation >95% of historic habitats are still connected 25% to 95% of historic habitats are still connected <25% of historic habitats are still connected 3.2 Large Woody Debris (LWD) LWD is present and being recruited at near natural rates LWD may be present but abundance or recruitment is less than natural rates LWD abundance and recruitment is lacking and impacting aquatic habitat 3.3 Channel Shape and Function <5% of stream channels show evidence of excessive (geo-fluvial) instability 5% to 25% of stream channels show evidence of excessive (geo-fluvial) instability >25% of stream channels show evidence of excessive (geo-fluvial) instability
  • 5. Indicator 3: Aquatic Habitat • When a larger region of aquatic habitat becomes divided into a collection of smaller habitat patches which isolate populations of aquatic organisms. • This can occur when physical barriers are introduced or when habitat conditions become unsuitable and interrupt natural migration patterns of aquatic organisms. Attribute 3.1 - Habitat Fragmentation Approximately 104 stream miles of 263 stream miles affected by AOP issues
  • 6. Indicator 3: Aquatic Habitat 3.1 Habitat Fragmentation How it can look What it can affect
  • 7. Indicator 3: Aquatic Habitat 3.1 Habitat Fragmentation Road-Stream Crossings • Inlet/outlet drops • Water velocity • Length/exhaustion • Insufficient depth • debris accumulation • Discontinuous substrate
  • 8. Indicator 3: Aquatic Habitat 3.1 Habitat Fragmentation Under-sized barrier culvert Newly replaced crossing
  • 9. Indicator 3: Aquatic Habitat 3.1 Habitat Fragmentation Vertical barrier culverts Newly eliminated crossing
  • 10. Indicator 3: Aquatic Habitat 3.1 Habitat Fragmentation – U.S. Forest Service Example • WCC Rating: 3 • rule set was utilized • based on road/stream crossings and local knowledge of crossing characteristics • in the absence of specific local knowledge, assumptions were made on the basis of crossing density • migration barriers related to habitat degradation, such as stream temperature and water chemistry, were also considered • percent habitat fragmentation was typically estimated using GIS maps of known or suspected isolated habitat
  • 11. Indicator 3: Aquatic Habitat 3.1 Habitat Fragmentation – U.S. Forest Service Example
  • 12. Indicator 3: Aquatic Habitat Attribute 3.2 - Large Woody Debris (LWD) • LWD is woody structure in aquatic and riparian environments • Occurs naturally in forested ecosystems through various recruitment processes • Performs many important ecological functions that help sustain healthy aquatic ecosystems • Rate LWD “Not Applicable” if it is not an important component of the natural ecological process
  • 13. Indicator 3: Aquatic Habitat Attribute 3.2 - Large Woody Debris (LWD) Natural In-stream LWD Complex
  • 14. Indicator 3: Aquatic Habitat Attribute 3.2 - Large Woody Debris (LWD) Natural Floodplain LWD Complexes
  • 15. Indicator 3: Aquatic Habitat Attribute 3.2 - Large Woody Debris (LWD) Pre-treatment As-Built (2013) May 30, 2016
  • 16. Indicator 3: Aquatic Habitat 3.2 Large Woody Debris – U.S. Forest Service Example • WCC Rating: 2 • rule set was utilized • LWD recruitment potential was assessed using stand age classes within stream channel buffers that represented default riparian areas • Remote sensing data was used to identify non-forested land cover • Streams in the National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) were buffered 100 feet on each side to delineated stream channel buffers • LWD abundance is characteristically deficient throughout the Forest due historic land management practices