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Production of stream habitat gradients by montane watersheds: Hypothesis tests based on spatially explicit path analyses

Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences

By:
and
DOI: 10.1139/cjfas-58-6-1089

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Abstract

We studied how the features of mountain watersheds interact to cause gradients in three stream attributes: baseflow stream widths, total alkalinity, and stream slope. A priori hypotheses were developed before being tested in a series of path analyses using data from 90 stream reaches on 24 second- to fourth-order streams across a fifth-order Rocky Mountain watershed. Because most of the conventional least squares regressions initially calculated for the path analyses had spatially correlated residuals (13 of 15 regressions), spatially explicit regressions were often used to derive more accurate parameter estimates and significance tests. Our final working hypotheses accounted for most of the variation in baseflow stream width (73%), total alkalinity (74%), and stream slope (78%) and provide systemic views of watershed function by depicting interactions that occur between geomorphology, land surface features, and stream attributes. Stream gradients originated mainly from the unidirectional changes in geomorphic features that occur over the lengths of streams. Land surface features were of secondary importance and, because they change less predictably relative to the stream, appear to modify the rate at which stream gradients change.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Production of stream habitat gradients by montane watersheds: Hypothesis tests based on spatially explicit path analyses
Series title:
Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
DOI:
10.1139/cjfas-58-6-1089
Volume
58
Issue:
6
Year Published:
2001
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
First page:
1089
Last page:
1103
Number of Pages:
15