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Ukraine Polyana Workshop July 2018
Michael D. Owen, Aquatic Ecologist, Monongahela National Forest, USDA Forest Service
Indicator 4: Aquatic Biota
Indicator 4: Aquatic Biota
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:
This indicator addresses the
distribution, structure, and
density of native and introduced
aquatic fauna.
Rationale:
Population characteristics
associated with aquatic
communities can serve as
valuable bio-indicators of
ecological processes and
functions that are integrated
at the watershed scale and
determine the suitability of
watersheds to sustain viable
populations.
Indicator 4: Aquatic Biota
Attributes:
1. Aquatic Life Form Presence
2. Native Species
3. Exotic and/or Aquatic Invasive Species
Additional Guidance:
• Avoid focus on single species; focus on communities
• Widespread presence of exotic and/or aquatic invasive species
indicates poor conditions
Indicator 4: Aquatic Biota
Rule Sets for Ratings
Condition Rating Functioning Properly (1) Functioning at Risk (2) Impaired Function (3)
Indicator 4
Aquatic Biota
all native aquatic
communities and life
histories are self-
maintaining
Stronghold for some
native aquatic
communities but others
are lost or reduced
Native aquatic
communities are
scattered or lost;
exotic aquatic species
are pervasive
4.1 Life Form
Presence
>90% are present for
potential natural
communities
70% to 90% are present
for potential natural
communities
<70% are present for
potential natural
communities
4.2 Native
Species
Most life histories are
present for potential
natural communities
potential natural
communities have
residential or isolated
but viable populations
Aquatic exotic and/or
invasive species
have mostly replaced
native species
4.3 Exotic
and/or Aquatic
Invasive Species
Aquatic exotic and/or
invasive species occupy
<25% of historic habitat
for native species
Aquatic exotic and/or
invasive species occupy
25% to 50% of historic
habitat for native
species
Aquatic exotic and/or
invasive species
occupy >50% of
historic habitat for
native species
Indicator 4: Aquatic Biota
Population viability depends
upon sustained recruitment to
all life stages of an organism
Attribute 4.1 - Aquatic Life Form Presence
Indicator 4: Aquatic Biota
Attribute 4.1 - Aquatic Life Form Presence
Focus on Communities
Indicator 4: Aquatic Biota
Attribute 4.2 - Native Species
Aquatic species
persistence and
resiliency is related to
the retention of life
history strategies such
residential, fluvial, and
adfluvial stocks
* Headwaters to 6
major rivers (sub-
basins) in West
Virginia
Indicator 4: Aquatic Biota
Attribute 4.3 - Exotic and/or Aquatic Invasive Species
• used as an indicator of altered or impaired conditions
• widespread presence of exotic and/or aquatic invasive species indicates
poor conditions relative to the historic natural potential
• Understanding life history requirements aquatic species, as well as habitat
preferences and tolerances, can help identify changed watershed
conditions
Indicator 4: Aquatic Biota
All Attributes – U.S. Forest Service Example
• WCC Rating: 2 for all 3 attributes
• rule set was utilized for each attribute
• WV University assessment of fish
species distribution on the Forest
• fish population data from permanent
monitoring reaches
• knowledge from local experts
• professional judgement considering
other factors such as passage barriers
Indicator 4: Aquatic Biota
Rule Sets for Ratings
Condition Rating Functioning Properly (1) Functioning at Risk (2) Impaired Function (3)
Indicator 4
Aquatic Biota
all native aquatic
communities and life
histories as self-
maintaining
Stronghold for some
native aquatic
communities but others
are lost or reduced
Native aquatic
communities are
scattered or lost;
exotic aquatic species
are pervasive
4.1 Life Form
Presence
>90% are present for
potential natural
communities
70% to 90% are present
for potential natural
communities
<70% are present for
potential natural
communities
4.2 Native
Species
Most life histories are
present for potential
natural communities
potential natural
communities have
residential or isolated
but viable populations
Aquatic exotic and/or
invasive species
have mostly replaced
native species
4.3 Exotic
and/or Aquatic
Invasive Species
Aquatic exotic and/or
invasive species occupy
<25% of historic habitat
for native species
Aquatic exotic and/or
invasive species occupy
25% to 50% of historic
habitat for native
species
Aquatic exotic and/or
invasive species
occupy >50% of
historic habitat for
native species
Indicator 4: Aquatic Biota
Field Applications
• Aquatic Habitat Fragmentation – consideration for species life forms and
life history strategies
• Sample aquatic benthic organisms
• Sampling strategies for aquatic biota (AEUI fish population surveys)

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4 aquatic biota_english_071418

  • 1. Ukraine Polyana Workshop July 2018 Michael D. Owen, Aquatic Ecologist, Monongahela National Forest, USDA Forest Service Indicator 4: Aquatic Biota
  • 2. Indicator 4: Aquatic Biota 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: This indicator addresses the distribution, structure, and density of native and introduced aquatic fauna. Rationale: Population characteristics associated with aquatic communities can serve as valuable bio-indicators of ecological processes and functions that are integrated at the watershed scale and determine the suitability of watersheds to sustain viable populations.
  • 3. Indicator 4: Aquatic Biota Attributes: 1. Aquatic Life Form Presence 2. Native Species 3. Exotic and/or Aquatic Invasive Species Additional Guidance: • Avoid focus on single species; focus on communities • Widespread presence of exotic and/or aquatic invasive species indicates poor conditions
  • 4. Indicator 4: Aquatic Biota Rule Sets for Ratings Condition Rating Functioning Properly (1) Functioning at Risk (2) Impaired Function (3) Indicator 4 Aquatic Biota all native aquatic communities and life histories are self- maintaining Stronghold for some native aquatic communities but others are lost or reduced Native aquatic communities are scattered or lost; exotic aquatic species are pervasive 4.1 Life Form Presence >90% are present for potential natural communities 70% to 90% are present for potential natural communities <70% are present for potential natural communities 4.2 Native Species Most life histories are present for potential natural communities potential natural communities have residential or isolated but viable populations Aquatic exotic and/or invasive species have mostly replaced native species 4.3 Exotic and/or Aquatic Invasive Species Aquatic exotic and/or invasive species occupy <25% of historic habitat for native species Aquatic exotic and/or invasive species occupy 25% to 50% of historic habitat for native species Aquatic exotic and/or invasive species occupy >50% of historic habitat for native species
  • 5. Indicator 4: Aquatic Biota Population viability depends upon sustained recruitment to all life stages of an organism Attribute 4.1 - Aquatic Life Form Presence
  • 6. Indicator 4: Aquatic Biota Attribute 4.1 - Aquatic Life Form Presence Focus on Communities
  • 7. Indicator 4: Aquatic Biota Attribute 4.2 - Native Species Aquatic species persistence and resiliency is related to the retention of life history strategies such residential, fluvial, and adfluvial stocks * Headwaters to 6 major rivers (sub- basins) in West Virginia
  • 8. Indicator 4: Aquatic Biota Attribute 4.3 - Exotic and/or Aquatic Invasive Species • used as an indicator of altered or impaired conditions • widespread presence of exotic and/or aquatic invasive species indicates poor conditions relative to the historic natural potential • Understanding life history requirements aquatic species, as well as habitat preferences and tolerances, can help identify changed watershed conditions
  • 9. Indicator 4: Aquatic Biota All Attributes – U.S. Forest Service Example • WCC Rating: 2 for all 3 attributes • rule set was utilized for each attribute • WV University assessment of fish species distribution on the Forest • fish population data from permanent monitoring reaches • knowledge from local experts • professional judgement considering other factors such as passage barriers
  • 10. Indicator 4: Aquatic Biota Rule Sets for Ratings Condition Rating Functioning Properly (1) Functioning at Risk (2) Impaired Function (3) Indicator 4 Aquatic Biota all native aquatic communities and life histories as self- maintaining Stronghold for some native aquatic communities but others are lost or reduced Native aquatic communities are scattered or lost; exotic aquatic species are pervasive 4.1 Life Form Presence >90% are present for potential natural communities 70% to 90% are present for potential natural communities <70% are present for potential natural communities 4.2 Native Species Most life histories are present for potential natural communities potential natural communities have residential or isolated but viable populations Aquatic exotic and/or invasive species have mostly replaced native species 4.3 Exotic and/or Aquatic Invasive Species Aquatic exotic and/or invasive species occupy <25% of historic habitat for native species Aquatic exotic and/or invasive species occupy 25% to 50% of historic habitat for native species Aquatic exotic and/or invasive species occupy >50% of historic habitat for native species
  • 11. Indicator 4: Aquatic Biota Field Applications • Aquatic Habitat Fragmentation – consideration for species life forms and life history strategies • Sample aquatic benthic organisms • Sampling strategies for aquatic biota (AEUI fish population surveys)