Cascadia Ecosystems

Gresham, OR, United States

Cascadia Ecosystems

Gresham, OR, United States

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Hughes R.M.,Oregon State University | Dunham S.,Oregon State University | Maas-Hebner K.G.,Oregon State University | Yeakley J.A.,Portland State University | And 4 more authors.
Fisheries | Year: 2014

Previously we examined how degraded urban streams can be rehabilitated, with emphasis on identifying solutions that match the scale of the problems (Hughes et al. 2014). Our findings showed that rehabilitation techniques are challenging but that some environmental benefits can nearly always be obtained regardless of existing conditions. Although rehabilitation is useful in many present-day situations, biologists need to consider the future and think about ways of preventing or reducing future environmental damage. We need to reduce future damage because urban areas are likely to expand greatly over the next century; if historical patterns continue, the number and length of streams experiencing urban stream syndrome will increase, with resulting high repair costs. However, there are several ways of avoiding or mitigating damage that are not only cost effective but provide benefits to humans and urban ecosystems. © 2014 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.


Hughes R.M.,Oregon State University | Dunham S.,Oregon State University | Maas-Hebner K.G.,Oregon State University | Yeakley J.A.,Portland State University | And 6 more authors.
Fisheries | Year: 2014

We review how urbanization alters aquatic ecosystems, as well as actions that managers can take to remediate urban waters. Urbanization affects streams by fundamentally altering longitudinal and lateral processes that in turn alter hydrology, habitat, and water chemistry; these effects create physical and chemical stressors that in turn affect the biota. Urban streams often suffer from multiple stressor effects that have collectively been termed an "urban stream syndrome," in which no single factor dominates degraded conditions. Resource managers have multiple ways of combating the urban stream syndrome. These approaches range from whole-watershed protection to reach-scale habitat rehabilitation, but the prescription must be matched to the scale of the factors that are causing the problem, and results will likely not be immediate because of lengthy recovery times. Although pristine or reference conditions are far from attainable, urban stream rehabilitation is a worthy goal because appropriate actions can provide ecosystem improvements as well as increased ecosystem service benefits for human society. © 2014 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.


We discuss the importance of addressing diffuse threats to long-term species and habitat viability in fish conservation and recovery planning. In the Pacific Northwest, USA, salmonid management plans have typically focused on degraded freshwater habitat, dams, fish passage, harvest rates, and hatchery releases. However, such plans inadequately address threats related to human population and economic growth, intra- and interspecific competition, and changes in climate, ocean, and estuarine conditions. Based on reviews conducted on eight conservation and/or recovery plans, we found that though threats resulting from such changes are difficult to model and/or predict, they are especially important for wide-ranging diadromous species. Adaptive management is also a critical but often inadequately constructed component of those plans. Adaptive management should be designed to respond to evolving knowledge about the fish and their supporting ecosystems; if done properly, it should help improve conservation efforts by decreasing uncertainty regarding known and diffuse threats. We conclude with a general call for environmental managers and planners to reinvigorate the adaptive management process in future management plans, including more explicitly identifying critical uncertainties, implementing monitoring programs to reduce those uncertainties, and explicitly stating what management actions will occur when pre-identified trigger points are reached. © 2016, American Fisheries Society.


Maas-Hebner K.G.,Oregon State University | Harte M.J.,Oregon State University | Molina N.,Cascadia Ecosystems | Hughes R.M.,Oregon State University | And 2 more authors.
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment | Year: 2015

Increasingly, natural resource management agencies and nongovernmental organizations are sharing monitoring data across geographic and jurisdictional boundaries. Doing so improves their abilities to assess local-, regional-, and landscape-level environmental conditions, particularly status and trends, and to improve their ability to make short- and long-term management decisions. Status monitoring assesses the current condition of a population or environmental condition across an area. Monitoring for trends aims at monitoring changes in populations or environmental condition through time. We wrote this paper to inform agency and nongovernmental organization managers, analysts, and consultants regarding the kinds of environmental data that can be combined with suitable techniques and statistically aggregated for new assessments. By doing so, they can increase the (1) use of available data and (2) the validity and reliability of the assessments. Increased awareness of the difficulties inherent in combining and aggregating data for local- and regional-level analyses can increase the likelihood that future monitoring efforts will be modified and/or planned to accommodate data from multiple sources. © 2015, Springer International Publishing Switzerland.

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