Large Woody Debris in Small Streams of the Alberta Foothills

RESEARCH TEAM:

Dr. Lori D. Daniels
Dr. Trevor A. Jones (Post-Doctoral Researcher 2006-2008)
Dr. Mohammad Bataineh (Post-Doctoral Researcher, 2009-10)
Dr. David Andison (Natural Disturbance Program, FRI)
Sonya Powell (MSc 2006)
Eileen Jones (MSc Student 2007-)
Amy Nicoll (MSc Student 2008-)
Evan Henderson (BSc Student 2007-8)
Julia Amerongen-Maddison (BSc Student 2008-9)
Raphael Chavardes (BSc Student 2008-9)

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

In Alberta, the current management strategy protects riparian forests from disturbance to reduce risk of adversely affecting streams and aquatic ecosystems. However, riparian zones are not immune to natural disturbance, some of which may be vitally important to maintain stream function. For example, the recruitment and retention of logs in riparian zones alters stream geomorphology and hydrology resulting in critical habitat for invertebrates and fish. This study, funded by grants from the Alberta Conservation Association (ACA) and NSERC Collaborative Research and Development (NSERC-CRD) program, is a collaboration of the Tree-Ring Lab at the University of British Columbia (UBC), Foothills Research Institute (FRI), Hinton Wood Products (West Fraser Mills) and Alberta Newsprint Company (ANC), will quantify recruitment and decay rates and residence times of large woody debris (LWD) in pine- and spruce-dominated riparian forests, surrounding small first order streams in the upper and lower foothills sub-regions of western Alberta. Three interconnected projects will use multiple lines of evidence to quantify the dynamics of LWD, as follows:

(1) Tree-ring analyses will determine the time since death of logs in various stage of decay and in forests of different ages. These results will be used to calculate rates LWD recruitment and develop predictive models of LWD persistence and rates of decay.

(2) Tree-ring analysis of snags and logs in permanent sample plots in upland forests will quantify decay processes for terrestrial coarse woody debris. We will use this information to determine the rate of decay and rate of outer ring erosion in order to improve the accuracy of age estimates of LWD.

(3) We will develop models to test for differences in decay rates and processes between upland and riparian woody debris.

The outcome of this research will have value to both theoretical ecology and applied forest management in the foothills of Alberta and other montane and boreal forests. We will work with the Foothills Research Institute to develop tools for ensure that new knowledge gained from this research is effectively integrated into forest management practices and policy.

RESEARCH PARTNERS

FOOTHILLS RESEARCH INSTITUTE
http://foothillsresearchinstitute.ca/

HINTON WOOD PRODUCTS
http://www.weldwood.com/hinfr01/internet/hinnet.nsf

ALBERTA NEWSPRINT COMPANY
http://www.albertanewsprint.com/

ALBERTA CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION
http://www.ab-conservation.com/

RESEARCH CONTRIBUTIONS

JOURNAL PUBLICATIONS

Jones, T.A., L.D. Daniels and S.R.E. Powell. 2010. Abundance and function of large woody debris in small, headwater streams in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Alberta, Canada. River Research and Applications: DOI: 10.1002/rra.

Powell, S.R.E., L.D. Daniels and T.A. Jones. 2009. Temporal dynamics of large woody debris in small streams in the Alberta foothills, Canada. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 39:1159-1170.

Jones, T.A. and L.D. Daniels. 2008. Dynamics of large woody debris in small streams disturbed by the 2001 Dogrib fire in the Alberta foothills. Forest Ecology and Management 256: 1751-1759.

THESES

Jones, E.A. 2009. Decay dynamics of coarsewood habitat in old-growth spruce and pine stands in the Rocky Mountain Foothills. MSc Thesis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC.

Henderson, E. 2008. Temporal dynamics of decay and position class transitions of large woody debris in small streams in the Alberta foothills. BSc. Thesis, Natural Resources Conservation, Forestry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC.

Powell, S.R.P. 2006. A Wood Inventory and Dendroecological Analysis of Large Woody Debris in Small Streams in the Foothills Model Forest, Hinton, Alberta. M.Sc. Thesis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

RESEARCH REPORTS

Daniels, L.D. and S. Powell. 2003. Dendroecological analysis of coarse woody debris in riparian zones of the Foothills Model Forest: pilot study. Report to Foothills Model Forest, Natural Disturbance Program, Hinton BC, October 2003.

Jones, T.A. and L.D. Daniels. 2007. LARGE woody debris in small streams of Alberta’s foothills. Report to the Alberta Conservation Association, Edmonton, AB. March 2007. 3p.

CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS AND WORKSHOPS

Dendroecological analysis of in-stream large woody debris. Co-Authors: S.R.E. Powell and T.A. Jones. Presented at the 6th North American Forest Ecology Workshop, Vancouver, BC, June 2007.

A wood inventory and dendroecological analysis of large woody debris in small streams in the Foothills Model Forest, Hinton, Alberta. Presented by S.R.E. Powell. Co-Author: L.D. Daniels. Presented at Northwest Scientific Association Meeting, Victoria, BC, February 2007.

LARGE Woody Debris in small Streams. Co-Authors: Sonya Powell and David Andison. Riparian Forest Workshop, Foothills Model Forest, Hinton AB, September 2005.

A dendroecological analysis of large woody debris in lodgepole pine riparian forests of the Foothills Model Forest, Alberta. Presented by S.R.E. Powell. Co-Author: L.D. Daniels. Presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, Denver, CO, March 2005.

LARGE Woody Debis in small Streams. Presented by S.R.E. Powell. Co-Author: L.D. Daniels. Presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, Philadelphia, PA, March 2004.

L.D. Daniels, S. Powell, D. Andison and R. McCleary. 2003. Large woody debris in small streams. Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association of Geographers. Victoria, BC, May 2003.

FURTHER INFORMATION

Contact Dr. Lori Daniels, Department of Geography,
University of British Columbia, daniels@geog.ubc.ca