Large wood recruitment and redistribution mechanisms were investigated in a 3.9 km2 basin with an old-growth Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco and Tsuga heterophylla (Raf.) Sarg. forest, located in the southern Coast Range of Oregon. Stream size and topographic setting strongly influenced processes that delivered wood to the channel network. In small colluvial channels draining steep hillslopes, processes associated with slope instability dominated large wood recruitment. In the larger alluvial channel, windthrow was the dominant recruitment process from the local riparian area. Consequently, colluvial channels received wood from further upslope than the alluvial channel. Input and redistribution processes influenced piece location relative to the direction of flow and thus, affected the functional role of wood. Wood recruited directly from local hillslopes and riparian areas was typically positioned adjacent to the channel or spanned its full width, and trapped sediment and wood in transport. In contrast, wood that had been fluvially redistributed was commonly located in mid-channel positions and was associated with scouring of the streambed and banks. Debris flows were a unique mechanism for creating large accumulations of wood in small streams that lacked the capacity for abundant fluvial transport of wood, and for transporting wood that was longer than the bank-full width of the channel.
Additional publication details
Large wood recruitment and redistribution in headwater streams in the southern Oregon Coast Range, U.S.A