Forested riparian areas contribute a very large proportion of the energy (leaf litter and invertebrates) that fuels food webs of small streams, but this contribution has not been quantified. This project will directly estimate the energetic contribution by using experimental exclusion of litter and invertebrates from the forest, especially as it affects rearing cutthroat trout. Salmonids in small streams are particularly food-limited. Evidence from other regions indicate that the effects of forestry on salmonids of small streams in not through temperature and stream structure but through the loss of direct inputs of invertebrates from above and benthos dependent on leaf litter. Quantifying the value of riparian forests for a direct measure like fish growth will contribute to our ability to make reasoned trade-offs between conservation and timber supply. John S. Richardson and Yixin Zhang.
Richardson, John S., Zhang, Yixin. 2003. Trophic flows across habitats in riparian forest ecosystems: terrestrial-aquatic linkages. Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program. Forest Investment Account Report. FIA2003MR221