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Research and cumulative watershed effects

Research and cumulative watershed effects

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Published by: PACIFIC SOUTHWEST RESEARCH STATION REPORT on Dec 21, 2010
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United StatesDepartmentof AgricultureForest Service
Pacific SouthwestResearch Station
General TechnicalReport PSW-GTR-141
Research and CumulativeWatershed Effects
Leslie M. Reid
 
Publisher:
Pacific Southwest Research StationAlbany, California
(Mailing address: P.O. Box 245, Berkeley, CA 94701-0245Telephone: 510-559-6300)
March 1993
Reid, Leslie M. 1993.
Research and cumulative watershed effects.
Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-141. Albany, CA: Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture; 118 p.The mandate for land managers to address cumulative watershed effects (CWEs) requires thatplanners evaluate the potential impacts of their activities on multiple beneficial uses within thecontext of other coexisting activities in a watershed. Types of CWEs vary with the types of land-use activities and their modes of interaction, but published studies illustrate both descriptive andpredictive evaluations of many of these types. Successful evaluations have generally used geomor-phological and ecological approaches based on the understanding of the processes involved. Incontrast, most generalized “cookbook” analysis procedures are shown to be unable to assessaccumulations of impacts through time, usually cannot evaluate the range of activities and uses thatare necessary, and are rarely validated. A general approach to evaluation is proposed, and the typesof information available for assessments are reviewed.
 Retrieval terms:
watershed, cumulative impact, land-use planning, water quality
The Author:
Leslie M. Reid
is a research geologist with the Station’s Hillslope Processes/Fisheries ResearchUnit, and is stationed at the Redwood Sciences Laboratory, 1700 Bayview Drive, Arcata, CA 95521.
Foreword and Acknowledgments:
This report was prepared under cooperative agreement PSW-88-CL-009 (CDF 8CA74571)with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, P.O. Box 944246, Sacramento, CA94244-2460. This version differs from the final report to the Department primarily in editingdetails, omission of two appendices, addition of two figures, revisions to tables, and inclusion of more detail about cited studies. Trade names and commercial enterprises are mentioned solely forinformation and do not imply the endorsement of those products or organizations. This publicationneither recommends any pesticide uses reported nor implies that they have been registered byappropriate government agencies.John Munn, Peter Cafferata, Jennifer Nielsen, and Larry Costick provided extremely helpfulreviews of the manuscript, and innumerable scientists and land managers (listed, in part, in the
 Appendix)
gave freely of their time for lengthy discussions of ideas, research, and the challengesconfronting conscientious land management.
 Note: This publication was reprinted December, 1998 from a reconstructed layout. It closelyresembles the original printing, but a difference in text style has caused a slight shift in pagination.The Table of Contents has been revised to reflect the changes. Also,
Figure 4
 , (previously on page29) now appears on page 28, and 
Table
s
5
(previously on page 28) appears on page 29.
 
Research and Cumulative Watershed Effects
Leslie M. ReidContents
List of Figures.......................................................................................................................................vList of Tables........................................................................................................................................vGlossary of Acronyms.........................................................................................................................viIn Brief................................................................................................................................................vii
1. The Problem of Cumulative Watershed Effects.........................................................................
1Definitions...................................................................................................................................1History of the Issue.....................................................................................................................3The Major Issues.........................................................................................................................4Goals of the Review....................................................................................................................4Scope of the Review....................................................................................................................4
2. How Cumulative Watershed Effects Occur................................................................................6
Watershed Function....................................................................................................................6Runoff Generation.............................................................................................................6Channels.............................................................................................................................6Sediment Production..........................................................................................................6Interactions Between Hillslopes and Channels................................................................7Physical Basis for Cumulative Watershed Effects...........................................................7Ecosystem Function....................................................................................................................7Constraints on Individuals and Species............................................................................8Habitat................................................................................................................................8Biological Communities....................................................................................................8Response to Change...........................................................................................................9Biological Basis for Cumulative Watershed Effects........................................................9A Framework for Understanding CWEs..................................................................................10Issues that Complicate the Understanding of CWEs...............................................................11
3. Research Methods for Understanding Cumulative Watershed Effects.................................12
Requirements of CWE Research..............................................................................................12Research Approaches and Methods..........................................................................................12Descriptive Studies..........................................................................................................12Extensive Surveys............................................................................................................13Experimentation...............................................................................................................14Modeling..........................................................................................................................15Monitoring.......................................................................................................................16Statistics...........................................................................................................................16Scale and Focus of Studies.......................................................................................................17Process Studies................................................................................................................17Watershed Case Studies..................................................................................................17Paired- and Multi-Basin Studies.....................................................................................17The System as Focus.......................................................................................................18

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