Riparian and geomorphic controls on thermal habitat dynamics of pools in a temperate headwater stream

1024 681 Stroud Water Research Center

Ouellet, V., E.E. Gibson, M.D. Daniels, and N.A. Watson. 2017. Ecohydrology 10:e1891.

doi: 10.1002/eco.1891


Stream pools serve as habitat for diverse communities composed of microbes, macroinvertebrates, and fish. Every pool presents a combination of geomorphological features, and each pool habitat hosts a unique community. These communities are tied to the physical characteristics of their habitat, especially water temperature. The effects of geomorphology and hydraulic variables on thermal habitat dynamics in pools are not well understood. In this study, the thermal regime in important stream pool habitats was investigated in relation to their riparian and geomorphological features. Our results indicate that instream wood, groundwater resurgence, and depth can locally modify the pool thermal habitat and increase thermal buffering capacity during heat-stress events. Our findings highlight the importance of riparian vegetation and in-channel hydrogeomorphic features in controlling pool thermal habitats.