New Research Focuses on Streamwater Chemistry, Landscape Variation
MISSOULA (Apr. 22, 2014) – Winsor Lowe, interim director of the University of Montana’s Wildlife Biology Program, co-wrote a research paper published April 21 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on how streamwater chemistry varies across a headwater stream network.
Lowe and co-authors from Virginia Tech, the U.S. Geological Survey, the University of Washington, the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, the University of Connecticut and the U.S. Forest Service Northern Research Station examined 664 water samples collected every 10 meters along 32 tributaries of a stream network in the Hubbard Brook Valley of New Hampshire.
Lowe says this would be like looking at any of the Bitterroot Valley creeks by starting at its headwaters high in the mountains and sampling all the small streams that feed into the system as the stream makes its way down to the Bitterroot River.
Headwater streams perform critical functions for downstream ecosystems, but the complexity of their streamwater chemistry is not well understood. Lowe and his co-authors’ findings suggest that in headwater stream networks many factors influence the streamwater chemistry in different locations along the stream’s course, and in complex relationships with the surrounding landscape. Read more …