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Evaluating Cumulative Ecosystem Response to Restoration Projects in the Columbia River Estuary, Annual Report 2004.

Author: Gary E JohnsonMichael G AndersonHeida L DiefenderferRonald M ThomEarl M DawleyAll authors
Publisher: Washington, D.C. : United States. Dept. of Energy ; Oak Ridge, Tenn. : Distributed by the Office of Scientific and Technical Information, U.S. Dept. of Energy, 2005.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : National government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
The restoration of wetland salmon habitat in the tidal portion of the Columbia River is occurring at an accelerating pace and is anticipated to improve habitat quality and effect hydrological reconnection between existing and restored habitats. Currently multiple groups are applying a variety of restoration strategies in an attempt to emulate historic estuarine processes. However, the region lacks both a  Read more...
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Material Type: Document, Government publication, National government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Gary E Johnson; Michael G Anderson; Heida L Diefenderfer; Ronald M Thom; Earl M Dawley; Allan H Whiting; Kathryn L Sobocinski; Blaine Ebberts; Curtis Roegner; Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (U.S.); United States. Department of Energy.; United States. Department of Energy. Office of Scientific and Technical Information.
OCLC Number: 316323850
Notes: Published through the Information Bridge: DOE Scientific and Technical Information.
12/15/2005.
"PNNL-15102."
Johnson, Gary E.; Anderson, Michael G.; Diefenderfer, Heida L.; Thom, Ronald M.; Dawley, Earl M.; Whiting, Allan H.; Sobocinski, Kathryn L.; Ebberts, Blaine; Roegner, Curtis.
Description: PDFN
Details: Mode of access: World Wide Web.

Abstract:

The restoration of wetland salmon habitat in the tidal portion of the Columbia River is occurring at an accelerating pace and is anticipated to improve habitat quality and effect hydrological reconnection between existing and restored habitats. Currently multiple groups are applying a variety of restoration strategies in an attempt to emulate historic estuarine processes. However, the region lacks both a standardized means of evaluating the effectiveness of individual projects as well as methods for determining the cumulative effects of all restoration projects on a regional scale. This project is working to establish a framework to evaluate individual and cumulative ecosystem responses to restoration activities in order to validate the effectiveness of habitat restoration activities designed to benefit salmon through improvements to habitat quality and habitat opportunity (i.e. access) in the Columbia River from Bonneville Dam to the ocean. The review and synthesis of approaches to measure the cumulative effects of multiple restoration projects focused on defining methods and metrics of relevance to the CRE, and, in particular, juvenile salmon use of this system. An extensive literature review found no previous study assessing the cumulative effects of multiple restoration projects on the fundamental processes and functions of a large estuarine system, although studies are underway in other large land-margin ecosystems including the Florida Everglades and the Louisiana coastal wetlands. Literature from a variety of scientific disciplines was consulted to identify the ways that effects can accumulate (e.g., delayed effects, cross-boundary effects, compounding effects, indirect effects, triggers and thresholds) as well as standard and innovative tools and methods utilized in cumulative effects analyses: conceptual models, matrices, checklists, modeling, trends analysis, geographic information systems, carrying capacity analysis, and ecosystem analysis. Potential indicators for detecting a signal in the estuarine system resulting from the multiple projects were also reviewed, i.e. organic matter production, nutrient cycling, sedimentation, food webs, biodiversity, salmon habitat usage, habitat opportunity, and allometry. In subsequent work, this information will be used to calculate the over net effect on the ecosystem. To evaluate the effectiveness of habitat restoration actions in the lower Columbia River and estuary, a priority of this study has been to develop a set of minimum ecosystem monitoring protocols based on metrics important for the CRE. The metrics include a suite of physical measurements designed to evaluate changes in hydrological and topographic features, as well as biological metrics that will quantify vegetation and fish community structure. These basic measurements, intended to be conducted at all restoration sites in the CRE, will be used to (1) evaluate the effectiveness of various restoration procedures on target metrics, and (2) provide the data to determine the cumulative effects of many restoration projects on the overall system. A protocol manual is being developed for managers, professional researchers, and informed volunteers, and is intended to be a practical technical guide for the design and implementation of monitoring for the effects of restoration activities. The guidelines are intended to standardize the collection of data critical for analyzing the anticipated ecological change resulting from restoration treatments. Field studies in 2005 are planned to initiate the testing and evaluation of these monitoring metrics and protocols and initiate the evaluation of higher order metrics for cumulative effects.

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