Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2020

College/Unit

Institute of Water Security and Science

Abstract

Stream water temperature (◦C) is an important physical variable that influences many biological and abiotic water quality processes. The intermingled mosaic of land-use/land-cover (LULC) types and corresponding variability in stream water temperature (Tw) processes in contemporary mixed-land-use watersheds necessitate research to advance management and policy decisions. Water temperature was analyzed from 21 gauging sites using a nested-scale experimental watershed study design. Results showed that forested land use was negatively correlated (α = 0.05) with mean and maximum Tw. Agricultural land use was significantly positively correlated (α = 0.05) with maximum Tw except during the spring season. Mixed development and Tw were significantly correlated (α = 0.05) at quarterly and monthly timescales. Correlation trends in some reaches were reversed between the winter and summer seasons, contradicting previous research. During the winter season, mixed development showed a negative relationship with minimum Tw and mean Tw. During the summer season, higher minimum, maximum, and mean Tw correlations were observed. Advanced understanding generated through this high-resolution investigation improves land managers’ ability to improve conservation strategies in freshwater aquatic ecosystems of contemporary watersheds.

Source Citation

Horne, J.P.; Hubbart, J.A. A Spatially Distributed Investigation of Stream Water Temperature in a Contemporary Mixed-Land-Use Watershed. Water 2020, 12, 1756. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12061756

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