Changes to Stream Water and Soil Temperature Regimes Pre and Post Forest Harvesting in Low Order Boreal Forest Watersheds.

Friday, 19 December 2014
Craig J Allan1, Pooya Najaf1, Rob Mackereth2 and Robert Steedman3, (1)University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC, United States, (2)Ontario Minitry of the Environment, Center for Northern Forest Ecosystem Research, Thunder Bay, ON, Canada, (3)National Energy Board, Environment, Calgary, AB, Canada
Soil and stream water temperatures were logged at 15 minute intervals (1995-2008) pre and post logging at four intensively monitored zero order boreal forest watersheds in NW Ontario, Canada. Trends in post logging changes to daily average, maximum and diurnal ranges in stream water and soil temperatures are presented. Changes to the soil temperature regime were found to be spatially variable and dependent upon aspect, hill slope position and soil moisture regime. In general, soil temperature displayed a hysteretic behavior in relation to reference sites during the post logging period with significantly warmer spring and summer temperatures and similar autumn temperatures. Stream water temperature appeared to be controlled by post logging surface soil temperatures (0-15 cm) as opposed to deeper (30-40 cm) soil temperatures during the pretreatment period. Results are compared to previous studies and implications for soil microbial processes and stream benthic communities are highlighted.