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group of river managers, stakeholders, and scientists met during summer 2005 to design a more naturalized flow regime for the Lower Missouri River (LMOR). The objective was to comply with requirements under the U.S. Endangered Species Act to support reproduction and survival of threatened and endangered species, with emphasis on the endangered pallid sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus), while minimizing negative effects to existing social and economic benefits of prevailing river management. Specific hydrograph requirements for pallid sturgeon reproduction are unknown, hence much of the design process was based on features of the natural flow regime. Environmental flow components (EFCs) extracted from the reference...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecohydrology
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This research highlights development and application of an integrated hydrologic model (GSFLOW) to a semiarid, snow-dominated watershed in the Great Basin to evaluate Pinyon-Juniper (PJ) and temperature controls on mountain meadow shallow groundwater. The work used Google Earth Engine Landsat satellite and gridded climate archives for model evaluation. Model simulations across three decades indicated that the watershed operates on a threshold response to precipitation (P) >400 mm/y to produce a positive yield (P-ET; 9%) resulting in stream discharge and a rebound in meadow groundwater levels during these wetter years. Observed and simulated meadow groundwater response to large P correlates with above average predicted...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecohydrology
In many places along the lower Colorado River, saltcedar (Tamarix spp) has replaced the native shrubs and trees, including arrowweed, mesquite, cottonwood and willows. Some have advocated that by removing saltcedar, we could save water and create environments more favourable to these native species. To test these assumptions we compared sap flux measurements of water used by native species in contrast to saltcedar, and compared soil salinity, ground water depth and soil moisture across a gradient of 200?1500 m from the river's edge on a floodplain terrace at Cibola National Wildlife Refuge (CNWR). We found that the fraction of land covered (fc) with vegetation in 2005?2007 was similar to that occupied by native...
Groundwater is a key driver of riparian condition on dryland rivers but is in high demand for municipal, industrial, and agricultural uses. Approaches are needed to guide decisions that balance human water needs while conserving riparian ecosystems. We developed a space-for-time substitution model that links groundwater change scenarios implemented within a Decision Support System (DSS) with proportions of floodplain vegetation types and abundances of breeding and migratory birds along the upper San Pedro River, AZ, USA. We investigated nine scenarios ranging from groundwater depletion to recharge. In groundwater decline scenarios, relative proportions of tall-canopied obligate phreatophytes (Populus/Salix, cottonwood/willow)...
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Though biological soil crusts (biocrusts) form abundant covers in arid and semiarid regions, their competing effects on soil hydrologic conditions are rarely accounted for in models. This study presents the modification of a soil water balance model to account for the presence of biocrusts at different levels of development (LOD) and their impact on one-dimensional hydrologic processes during warm and cold seasons. The model is developed, tested, and applied to study the hydrologic controls of biocrusts in context of a long-term manipulative experiment equipped with meteorological and soil moisture measurements in a Colorado Plateau ecosystem near Moab, Utah. The climate manipulation treatments resulted in distinct...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecohydrology
Increases in the abundance or density of woody plants in historically semiarid and arid grassland ecosystems have important ecological, hydrological, and socioeconomic implications. Using a simplified water-balance model, we propose a framework for conceptualizing how woody plant encroachment is likely to affect components of the water cycle within these ecosystems. We focus in particular on streamflow and the partitioning of evapotranspiration into evaporation and transpiration. On the basis of this framework, we suggest that streamflow and evaporation processes are affected by woody plant encroachment in different ways, depending on the degree and seasonality of aridity and the availability of subsurface water....
Over historic time Hawai‘i's dryland forests have been largely replaced by grasslands for grazing livestock. On-going efforts have been undertaken to restore dryland forests to bring back native species and reduce erosion. The reestablishment of native ecosystems on land severely degraded by long-term alternative use requires reversal of the impacts of erosion, organic-matter loss, and soil structural damage on soil hydraulic properties. This issue is perhaps especially critical in dryland forests where the soil must facilitate native plants' optimal use of limited water. These reforestation efforts depend on restoring soil ecological function, including soil hydraulic properties. We hypothesized that reforestation...
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We investigated the effects of winter and summer drought on a shrub/grass community of the Colorado Plateau in western North America, a winter-cold, summer-hot desert that receives both winter and summer precipitation. Summer, winter and yearlong drought treatments were imposed for 2 consecutive years using rainout shelters. We chose three perennial species for this study, representing different rooting patterns and responsiveness to precipitation pulses: Oryzopsis hymenoides, a perennial bunch grass with shallow roots; Gutierrezia sarothrae, a subshrub with dimorphic roots; and Ceratoides lanata, a predominantly deep-rooted woody shrub. Growth for all three species was far more sensitive to winter than to summer...
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Water resource development and drought have altered river flow regimes, increasing average flood return intervals across floodplains in the Murray-Darling Basin, Australia, causing health declines in riparian river red gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) forests and woodlands. Environmental flow allocations helped to alleviate water stress during the recent Millennium Drought (1997–2010), however, quantification of the flood frequency required to support healthy E. camaldulensis communities is still needed. We quantified water requirements of E. camaldulensis for two years across a flood gradient (trees inundated at frequencies of 1:2, 1:5 and 1:10 years) at Yanga National Park, New South Wales to help inform management...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecohydrology
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The release of the saltcedar beetle (Diorhabda carinulata) has resulted in the periodic defoliation of tamarisk (Tamarix spp.) along more than 1000 river km in the upper Colorado River Basin and is expected to spread along many other river reaches throughout the upper basin, and possibly into the lower Colorado River Basin. Identifying the impacts of these release programs on tamarisk water use and subsequent water cycling in arid riparian systems are largely unknown, due in part to the difficulty of measuring water fluxes in these systems. We used lab-calibrated, modified heat-dissipation sap flux sensors to monitor tamarisk water use (n = 20 trees) before, during and after defoliation by the saltcedar leaf beetle...
The loss of snow cover and the initiation of streamflow are key triggers for both terrestrial and aquatic biota. Landscape-scale snowmelt and streamflow dynamics are difficult to estimate, however, because they integrate large spatial extents and can vary rapidly in time. Remotely sensed observations are often temporally discontinuous and point observations lack sufficient spatial density (e.g. point measures from data-logging piezometers). In this study, we employ inexpensive temperature/light sensors to monitor the distribution of snowmelt and headwater stream discharge as a proxy for hydrological state of the landscape with high spatial and temporal resolution. This study was conducted at the Redondo Peak, a...
The impact of climate variability on the water cycle in desert ecosystems is controlled by biospheric feedback at interannual to millennial timescales. This paper describes a unique field dataset from weighing lysimeters beneath nonvegetated and vegetated systems that unequivocally demonstrates the role of vegetation dynamics in controlling water cycle response to interannual climate variability related to El Nin˜ o southern oscillation in the Mojave Desert. Extreme El Nin˜ o winter precipitation (2.3–2.5 times normal) typical of the U.S. Southwest would be expected to increase groundwater recharge, which is critical for water resources in semiarid and arid regions. However, lysimeter data indicate that rapid...
As the earth becomes a quilt of managed patches, ecohydrologists need to move from describing to predicting the consequences of human activities, using knowledge to improve human well-being. We highlight three current opportunities in ecohydrology. The first is the need for stronger research in arid and semi-arid ecosystems, where water is scarce and a tight coupling exists between hydrology and ecology. The second is to build better predictive frameworks for understanding the consequences of vegetation change. The new framework we propose here combines landscape connectivity, through recharge and discharge dynamics, with global climate. In systems where annual precipitation and evapotranspiration are similar, the...
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We investigated the effects of winter and summer drought on plants of the Colorado Plateau in western North America. This winter-cold, summer-hot desert region receives both winter and summer precipitation. Droughts were imposed for two consecutive years using rainout shelters. Here, we examine drought effects on the hydrologic interactions between plants and soil. We chose three perennial species for this study, representing different rooting patterns and responsiveness to precipitation pulses: Oryzopsis hymenoides, a perennial bunch grass with shallow roots; Gutierrezia sarothrae, a subshrub with dimorphic roots; and Ceratoides lanata, a predominantly deep-rooted woody shrub. Drought effects on plant water status...
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Ecohydrology combines empiricism, data analytics, and the integration of models to characterize linkages between ecological and hydrological processes. A challenge for practitioners is determining which models best generalizes heterogeneity in hydrological behaviour, including water fluxes across spatial and temporal scales, integrating environmental and socio‚Äźeconomic activities to determine best watershed management practices and data requirements. We conducted a literature review and synthesis of hydrologic, hydraulic, water quality, and ecological models designed for solving interdisciplinary questions. We reviewed 1,275 papers and identified 178 models that have the capacity to answer an array of research questions...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecohydrology
The North American Monsoon (NAM) is characterized by seasonal precipitation pulses which produce a considerable impact on land surface conditions. Changes in land surface processes have received less attention among the factors that concurrently influence the NAM. In this study, we utilize remotely-sensed and ground-based measurements to infer land surface changes that can influence the NAM through a vegetation?rainfall feedback mechanism. Our study is focused over the period 2004?2007 in northwest Mexico. Results from the analysis of remote sensing data indicate that the ground observations at an eddy covariance tower are representative of the land surface dynamics in subtropical scrublands. The extensive subtropical...
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Coastal forested hummocks support clusters of trees in the saltwater–freshwater transition zone. To examine how hummocks support trees in mesohaline sites that are beyond physiological limits of the trees, we used salinity and stable isotopes (2H and 18O) of water as tracers to understand water fluxes in hummocks and uptake by baldcypress (Taxodium distichum (L.) Rich.), which is the most abundant tree species in coastal freshwater forests of the southeastern U.S. Hummocks were always partially submerged and were completely submerged 1 to 8% of the time during the two studied growing seasons, in association with high water in the estuary. Salinity, δ18O, and δ2H varied more in the shallow open water than in groundwater....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecohydrology
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The use of diurnal water-table fluctuation methods to calculate evapotranspiration (ET) and groundwater flow is of increasing interest in ecohydrological studies. Most studies of this type, however, have been located in riparian wetlands of semi-arid regions where groundwater levels are consistently below topographic surface elevations and precipitation events are infrequent. Current methodologies preclude application to a wider variety of wetland systems. In this study, we extended a method for estimating sub-daily ET and groundwater flow rates from water-level fluctuations to fit highly dynamic, non-riparian wetland scenarios. Modifications included (1) varying the specific yield to account for periodic flooded...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecohydrology
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Data provided from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) including simulated values of 72 hydrologic metrics, or indicators of hydrologic alteration (IHA), 37 fish metrics, and 64 benthic invertebrate metrics were reviewed to assess significant flow-ecology relations that may be developed. Hydrologic alteration was represented by simulation of streamflow record for a pre-water-withdrawal condition (baseline) without dams or developed land, compared to the simulated recent-flow condition (2008) including withdrawals, dams and altered landscape to calculate a percent-alteration of flow. Biological samples used represent a median condition of the biological community from 1972 to 2010. This study reviewed...
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In the desert Southwest, changes in species composition, abundance, and distribution that may occur with climate change have significant implications for management of natural resources. These changes include: the extirpation or introduction of species, losses of biodiversity, shifts in structure and function of ecosystems and the services they provide, changes in wildlife habitat, invasion of non-native species, and changes in fire regimes. For planning, mitigation, and adaption, land managers would be greatly aided by knowing, in advance, which plant species, functional types, and assemblages will change in response to climate change so that monitoring and mitigation measures can focus on those resources. FY2012In...


map background search result map search result map Summer and winter drought in a cold desert ecosystem (Colorado Plateau) part I: effects on soil water and plant water uptake Sap flux-scaled transpiration by tamarisk (Tamarix spp.) before, during and after episodic defoliation by the saltcedar leaf beetle (Diorhabda carinulata) Summer and winter drought in a cold desert ecosystem (Colorado Plateau) part II: effects on plant carbon assimilation and growth The Impact of Ecosystem Water Balance on Desert Vegetation: Quantification of Historical Patterns and Projection Under Climate Change (Not listed in the LCC Science Catalog due to Desert LCC co-funding and catalog administering) Fish and Benthic Macroinvertebrate Flow-Ecology Regression Summary Statistics for Virginia Summer and winter drought in a cold desert ecosystem (Colorado Plateau) part I: effects on soil water and plant water uptake Summer and winter drought in a cold desert ecosystem (Colorado Plateau) part II: effects on plant carbon assimilation and growth Sap flux-scaled transpiration by tamarisk (Tamarix spp.) before, during and after episodic defoliation by the saltcedar leaf beetle (Diorhabda carinulata) Fish and Benthic Macroinvertebrate Flow-Ecology Regression Summary Statistics for Virginia The Impact of Ecosystem Water Balance on Desert Vegetation: Quantification of Historical Patterns and Projection Under Climate Change (Not listed in the LCC Science Catalog due to Desert LCC co-funding and catalog administering)