Climate change: characterization and prediction of water temperature in headwater streams Effect of climate change on transition of aquatic communities from cold-, cool-, and warmwater habitats Influence of disturbances [floods, debris flows, transportation networks, water temperature] on aquatic organisms American eel freshwater distribution, age & growth, and habitat use Influence of frequent prescribed fire on large wood in Atlantic coastal plain streams and aquatic communities Effect of dam and reservoir operation on riverine communities
Trout and coldwater fish production ecology Ecology and management of large wood in stream Effectiveness of forestry Best Management Practices Influence of natural [hurricanes, ice storms, microbursts, landslides and debris flows] and human-related [acid precipitation, road/stream crossings, increased temperature, water-based recreation, forest harvest] disturbance on brook trout and coldwater stream ecology
importance of research
The aquatic fauna of the southeastern US is among the most diverse worldwide, with many dozens of endemic species spread across 13 southeastern states. Many of these species, such as the eastern Brook trout are highly prized both for their sport and asthetc value but are under increasing pressure from land use and climate change. Particularly in coldwater streams, the composition and character of aquatic communities are among the most compelling indicators of ecosystem heath and vitality. The response of aquatic organisms to changes in water quality and their habitats can be directly linked to disturbances and land use changes, and knowledge of the role of disturbance in structuring aquatic communities will enable managers to implement protective measures and enhancements.
Effects of removal/addition of large wood in streams on coldwater fishes and their habitats (Alaska and Virginia) Winter habitat use by juvenile coho salmon and Dolly Varden (Alaska) Basinwide estimation of habitat and fish populations (Alaska, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia) Use of surrogate species to evaluate the impact of habitat disturbance on threatened, endangered or sensitive benthic riffle fishes Manipulation of streamside management zone width and harvest intensity for water quality (Virginia, West Virginia) Loss of Eastern hemlock from riparian areas in the Eastern US Alternative methods for assessing fish distribution and abundance [benthic riffle fishes, underwater observation, scale dependent sampling protocols, sample extrapolation]