Concern has been expressed by both the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Ministry of Environment that clear-cut logging of headwater streams may be depriving downstream fish populations of food. The contributions of streams from high elevation forests to river ecosystems with respect to diversity and abundance of invertebrates, and quantity of detritus and dissolved organic matter is not well known. Forest managers, especially under a results based code, need a high degree of certainty to ensure desired ecosystem characteristics are being maintained. Industry partners have expressed an imminent need for knowledge of the functions of these small streams and data that either supports the current forest practices or indicates a need for alternate strategies. The overall goals of this project are to 1) address this knowledge gap by assessing the contribution of fish food and organic matter from fishless headwater streams to lower, fish-bearing streams, and 2) reduce uncertainty for managers defining parameters of sustainable forest management by providing recommendations for improving policy on riparian buffer zones. The objectives of this research project are to: 1. Evaluate the effectiveness of the current riparian management practice of a 20 m management zone by determining if clear-cut logging of headwater streams in the interior of British Columbia reduces the export of aquatic invertebrates, detritus (specifically fine particulate organic matter (FPOM)) and dissolved organic carbon (DOC). 2. Quantify the contribution that fishless, headwater streams make to downstream fish-bearing reaches in terms of aquatic invertebrates, FPOM and DOC for the stream food web.
Brian Heise. Denise Clark, Jacqueline Sorensen.
Heise, Brian A., Sorensen, Jacqueline J.; Clark, Denise L.. 2006. Effects of logging on export of organic matter from headwater streams. Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program. Forest Investment Account Report. FIA2006MR174