Projects: sediment terrain wood basin reach

Large Wood in Streams

The importance of large wood in aquatic and riparian ecosystems is well recognized. To improve our understanding of wood dynamics in streams, we constructed wood budgets to identify the primary controls on recruitment, transport, and storage of wood along 100 km of northern California streams. The large data set shows that reach scale variability in wood storage and recruitment is the rule, driven by variation in rates of bank erosion, forest mortality, and mass wasting. The recruitment processes are controlled by changes in watershed structure including the location of canyons, floodplains, and tributary confluences, types of geology and topography, and forest types and management history. The findings were used to improve protection of riparian wood sources and inform spatially explicit riparian management.

Large wood in streams gallery:

Links to large wood studies:

Benda, L., and P. Bigelow. 2014. On the patterns and processes of wood in northern California streams. Geomorphology 209: 79-97.

Bigelow P., L. Benda, D. Miller, and K. Burnett. 2007. On debris flows, river networks, and the spatial structure of channel morphology. Forest Science 53(2): 220-238.

Benda L., P. Bigelow, and T. Worsley. 2002. Recruitment of wood to streams in old-growth and second-growth redwood forests, northern California, USA. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 32:1460-1477.

Projects: sediment terrain wood basin reach