Spring 2014 SENR Seminar Series
The SENR Seminar Series welcomes Breeanne Jackson, Doctoral Candidate, OSU School of Environment and Natural Resources, who will present Wildfire and Stream-Riparian Food Webs in the American West.
Stream ecosystems are unique landscape elements characterized by connectivity, heterogeneity, and disturbance. The stream and its adjacent riparian zone are conduits that move water, sediments and nutrients across the landscape. In addition, stream ecosystems provide critical habitat for myriad biota. The role of wildfire in stream ecosystems is not completely understood. Historically riparian forests of the mountainous West have burned with approximately the same fire frequency as adjacent uplands. In addition, fire suppression policies, historical forest management, and global climate change have led to unique fire environments in both riparian and upland forests. How wildfire affects in-stream processes such as changes in geomorphology and subsequently benthic invertebrate community composition has received the foremost attention. However, a more complete recognition that streams are not disparate landscape elements, but rather integrative and coupled landscape integrators is critical to our understanding of the role of wildfire in stream ecosystems. Understanding how wildfire influences aquatic-terrestrial linkages and defining the scales at which wildfire most strongly influences a suite of organisms (i.e. birds, spiders, fish, and invertebrates) that utilize stream-riparian habitat can inform fire management in aquatic-terrestrial ecosystems and potentially refine ecology theory.
The SENR Seminar begins at 4:10 p.m in 103 Kottman Hall with a video link to 123 Williams Hall on the Wooster campus.