Event Title

Amphibian Abundance and Wetland Habitat Following Dam Removal in the Elwha River Basin

Co-Author(s)

Oseberg-Finney, Sverre; VandePutte, Nicole; Merillat, Morgan

Research Mentor(s)

McLaughin, John

Description

Dam removal has become increasingly applied and accepted as an effective tool for restoration. However, research investigating ecological response to dam removal, specifically wildlife, remains sparse. As the site of the world's largest dam removal project, the Elwha river system offers a unique opportunity to better understand wildlife response to dam removal. We investigated how amphibian abundance and wetland habitat characteristics differ between the wetlands of the largest former reservoir site and those of a site upriver, unaffected by dam removal. We surveyed wetlands in the two sites for amphibian abundance and collected data on six habitat variables relating to vegetation and water quality. We used Poisson regression to fit models describing effects of each habitat variable on local abundance of amphibian species. We determined the relative empirical support for each model using information theoretic methods. Amphibians can be used as a direct metric for assessing a stream’s ability to support aquatic biota. Thus, our findings indicate the progress of wetland restoration at the dam removal site. Our results determine the relative importance of wetland habitat characteristics which can be used to inform future restoration projects.

Document Type

Event

Start Date

15-5-2019 9:00 AM

End Date

15-5-2019 5:00 PM

Location

Carver Gym (Bellingham, Wash.)

Department

Environmental Science

Genre/Form

student projects, posters

Subjects – Topical (LCSH)

Amphibians--Effect of dams on--Washington (State)--Elwha River; Amphibians--Ecology--Washington (State)--Elwha River; Dam retirement--Environmental aspectsWashington (State)--Elwha Dam

Geographic Coverage

Elwha River (Wash.); Elwha Dam (Wash.)

Type

Image

Rights

Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author’s written permission.

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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May 15th, 9:00 AM May 15th, 5:00 PM

Amphibian Abundance and Wetland Habitat Following Dam Removal in the Elwha River Basin

Carver Gym (Bellingham, Wash.)

Dam removal has become increasingly applied and accepted as an effective tool for restoration. However, research investigating ecological response to dam removal, specifically wildlife, remains sparse. As the site of the world's largest dam removal project, the Elwha river system offers a unique opportunity to better understand wildlife response to dam removal. We investigated how amphibian abundance and wetland habitat characteristics differ between the wetlands of the largest former reservoir site and those of a site upriver, unaffected by dam removal. We surveyed wetlands in the two sites for amphibian abundance and collected data on six habitat variables relating to vegetation and water quality. We used Poisson regression to fit models describing effects of each habitat variable on local abundance of amphibian species. We determined the relative empirical support for each model using information theoretic methods. Amphibians can be used as a direct metric for assessing a stream’s ability to support aquatic biota. Thus, our findings indicate the progress of wetland restoration at the dam removal site. Our results determine the relative importance of wetland habitat characteristics which can be used to inform future restoration projects.