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Rebecca Flitcroft

Rebecca Flitcroft
USDA Forest Service · PNW Research Lab

PhD Oregon State University 2008

About

73
Publications
15,279
Reads
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918
Citations
Citations since 2017
38 Research Items
719 Citations
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Introduction
In my research, I am drawn to questions that explore holistic approaches to watershed analysis and management. I am interested in both statistical and physical representations of stream networks in analysis and monitoring that more realistically represent stream complexity and connectivity for aquatic species along four primary lines of research: multiscale salmonid ecology; stream network analysis; climate change and salmonid life history; integrated watershed management.

Publications

Publications (73)
Article
Full-text available
Patterns of salmon distribution throughout a riverscape may be expected to change over time in response to environmental conditions and population sizes. Changing patterns of use, including identification of consistently occupied locations, are informative for conservation and recovery planning. We explored interannual patterns of distribution by j...
Article
Full-text available
Streamflow and water temperature (hydroclimate) influence the life histories of aquatic biota. The relationship between streamflow and temperature varies with climate, hydrogeo-morphic setting, and season. Life histories of native fishes reflect, in part, their adaptation to regional hydroclimate (flow and water temperature), local habitats, and na...
Article
Waterways of the USA are protected under the public trust doctrine, placing responsibility on the state to safeguard public resources for the benefit of current and future generations. This responsibility has led to the development of management standards for lands adjacent to streams. In the state of Oregon, policy protection for riparian areas va...
Article
The Oregon Coast landscape displays strong spatial patterns in air temperature, precipitation, and geology, which can confound our ability to detect relationships among land management, instream conditions, and fish at broad spatial scales. Despite this structure, we found that a suite of immutable or intrinsic attributes (e.g., reach gradient, dra...
Article
The movement patterns of native migratory fishes may reflect different selection pressures in different environments that are associated with predictable patterns of temperature and discharge. Spatial and temporal variability in the movement patterns of adult Coho Salmon Oncorhynchus kisutch were explored with data that were collected from the Umpq...
Article
In the Willamette River, OR, main channel temperatures can be too warm for cold water fishes, causing fish to concentrate in secondary channel features that provide thermal refugia. However, temperature regimes vary among and within features. Improved understanding of physical processes controlling thermal regimes is needed. This study developed a...
Article
Full-text available
Spatial and temporal heterogeneity, or messiness, is a broadly desirable characteristic of river corridors and an indicator of many of the geomorphic processes that sustain fluvial ecosystems. However, quantifying geomorphic heterogeneity is complicated by a lack of consistent metrics, classification schemas for dividing the river corridor into the...
Article
Full-text available
Degraded floodplains and valley floors are restored with the goal of enhancing habitat for native fish and aquatic-riparian biota and the protection or improvement of water quality. Recent years have seen a shift toward "process-based restoration" that is intended to reestablish compromised ecogeomorphic processes resulting from site-or watershed-s...
Preprint
Spatial and temporal heterogeneity, or messiness, is a broadly desirable characteristic of river corridors and an indicator of many of the geomorphic processes that sustain fluvial ecosystems. However, quantifying geomorphic heterogeneity is complicated by a lack of consistent metrics, classification schemas for dividing the river corridor into the...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Historically, wildfire regimes produced important landscape-scale disturbances in many regions globally. The “pyrodiversity begets biodiversity” hypothesis suggests that wildfires that generate temporally and spatially heterogeneous mosaics of wildfire severity and post-burn recovery enhance biodiversity at landscape scales. However, ri...
Article
We evaluated commonly used methods for monitoring stream restorations to inform and improve restoration monitoring and evaluation, using a headwater stream in the Oregon Coast Range as a case-study example. In-stream restoration projects are seldom monitored both pre- and post-restoration. In addition, frequently used low-cost methods may not provi...
Preprint
Heterogeneity, or messiness, is a broadly desirable characteristic of river corridors and an indicator of many of the geomorphic processes that sustain fluvial ecosystems. However, quantifying geomorphic heterogeneity is complicated by a lack of consistent metrics, methods of dividing up the river corridor into the patches that form the basis for t...
Article
Full-text available
Freshwaters are important, interconnected, and imperiled. Aquatic ecosystems, including freshwater fishes, are closely tied to the terrestrial ecosystems they are embedded within, yet available spatially explicit datasets have been underutilized to determine associations between freshwater fishes and forested areas. Here, we determined the spatial...
Article
Full-text available
After a century of intensive logging, federal forest management policies were developed in the 1990s to protect remaining large trees and old forests in the western US. Today, due to rapidly changing ecological conditions, new threats and uncertainties, and scientific advancements, some policy provisions are being re‐evaluated in interior Oregon an...
Article
Full-text available
Wildfires in many western North American forests are becoming more frequent, larger, and severe, with changed seasonal patterns. In response, coniferous forest ecosystems will transition toward dominance by fire-adapted hardwoods, shrubs, meadows, and grasslands, which may benefit some faunal communities, but not others. We describe factors that li...
Chapter
Full-text available
Invasive species have a major effect on many sectors of the U.S. economy and on the well-being of its citizens. Their presence impacts animal and human health, military readiness, urban vegetation and infrastructure, water, energy and transportations systems, and indigenous peoples in the United States (Table 9.1). They alter bio-physical systems a...
Article
Adult salmonid migration to natal habitats and spawning are affected both by physiological factors and environmental conditions. While research has focused on physiological thresholds that influence the initiation of migration, few studies have investigated the relationship between both hydrological and thermal conditions and salmon spawning throug...
Book
Full-text available
In 1994, a large-tree harvest standard known as the “21-inch rule” was applied to land and resource management plans of national forests in eastern Oregon and Washington (hereafter, the “east side”) to halt the loss of large, old, live, and dead trees and old forest patches. These trees and forest patches have distinct ecological, economic, and soc...
Chapter
Lotic and lentic environments provide lateral connectivity to floodplain and riparian ecosystems. They can be passages for movement of aquatic organisms to and from headwater areas and marine environments, and they are important components of global biogeochemical cycles. Riparian environments also provide critical buffers between development or an...
Chapter
Full-text available
Habitat fragmentation, land use practices, and flow impediments modify the natural course of rivers, disrupting connectivity and subsequently affecting dispersal and gene flow in aquatic organisms. Many of the relationships between the physical river network and the genetic structure of populations are not well understood. Riverscape genetics is a...
Article
Salt marsh habitats support a diverse array of estuarine species but are vulnerable to increased inundation resulting from sea-level rise. In order to characterize relationships between vegetation and elevation and inform assessments of risk to salt marsh communities from projected sea-level rise, we collected vegetation and elevation data at 42 sa...
Article
Full-text available
A riverscape perspective considers the ecological and social landscape of the river and its valley. In this context, we examined the spatial arrangement of protective policies for river networks. Riparian land-management standards are policy efforts that explicitly restrict certain management actions, e.g., timber harvest or land clearing, in strea...
Article
Full-text available
• Globally, river systems have been extensively modified through alterations in riverscapes and flow regimes, reducing their capacity to absorb geophysical and environmental changes. • In western North America and elsewhere, alterations in natural flow regimes and swimways through dams, levees, and floodplain development, work in concert with fire...
Chapter
Riparian areas are the terrestrial interface between freshwater and upland environments, encompassing important ecotones where aquatic and terrestrial biophysical processes intersect to create unique and dynamic habitats. Diverse riparian habitats support organisms adapted to variable hydrologic conditions associated with seasonal precipitation pat...
Article
Full-text available
Declines in populations of Pacific salmon have prompted extensive and costly restoration efforts, yet many populations are still in peril. An improved understanding of landscape‐scale controls on salmon habitat should help focus restoration resources on areas with the greatest potential to host productive habitat. We investigate the contribution of...
Article
Full-text available
In estuaries, land-surface and tidal elevation conspire to influence the amount of salt-water inundation in a specific location, ultimately affecting the distribution of estuary vegetation. Plants vary in their tolerances to salinity and inundation. Understanding even small changes in land-surface elevation at a site scale provides relevant informa...
Article
Full-text available
Traditional analysis in population genetics evaluates differences among groups of individuals and, in some cases, considers the effects of distance or potential barriers to gene flow. Genetic variation of organisms in complex landscapes, seascapes, or riverine systems, however, may be shaped by many forces. Recent research has linked habitat hetero...
Chapter
Conceptual frameworks are used by aquatic ecologists to structure enquiry about rivers as ecosystems. Rather than approaching rivers as disconnected reaches in which organisms can be analysed without a catchment or network context, broader conceptual frameworks link ecological communities to underlying geophysical systems. Some common examples incl...
Article
Full-text available
The diversity of aquatic ecosystems is being quickly reduced on many continents, warranting a closer examination of the consequences for ecological integrity and ecosystem services. Here we describe intermediate and final ecosystem services derived from aquatic biodiversity in forests. We include a summary of the factors framing the assembly of aqu...
Chapter
Full-text available
Recent decades have seen the emergence of collaborative organizations for forest governance in landscape-scale management. A collaborative is defined as an organized collection of landowners, stakeholders, resource agencies, tribes, or other organizations that come together to address common issues and resolve problems through deliberation, consens...
Data
Winchester Dam Fish Counts, Discharge and Water Temperature from 1991–2014. (PDF)
Article
Protection of places important for aesthetic, ecological, and cultural values has been a goal of conservationists for over 150 years. Cornerstones of place-based conservation include legal designations, international agreements, and purchase by public or non-profit organizations. In the Salmon River catchment, Oregon, protections were initially dev...
Article
Full-text available
The Strategic Plan for Biodiversity (2011–2020), adopted at the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, sets 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets to be met by 2020 to address biodiversity loss and ensure its sustainable and equitable use. Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 describes what an improved conservation...
Chapter
Full-text available
This book is available online at http://press.anu.edu.au
Article
Full-text available
Linked atmospheric and wildfire changes will complicate future management of native coldwater fishes in fire-prone landscapes, and new approaches to management that incorporate uncertainty are needed to address this challenge. We used a Bayesian network (BN) approach to evaluate population vulnerability of bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) in the...
Article
Full-text available
Linked atmospheric and wildfire changes will complicate future management of native coldwater fishes in fire-prone landscapes, and new approaches to management that incorporate uncertainty are needed to address this challenge. We used a Bayesian network (BN) approach to evaluate population vulnerability of bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) in the...
Conference Paper
Post-fire changes in stream temperature can influence population vulnerability of endangered fishes in fire-prone regions. Understanding the potential effects of fire and fuels management on stream temperature is hampered by the limited availability of data collected before, during, and after fire events. To help address this issue, we developed a...
Conference Paper
Wildfire is an important agent of change contributing to a mosaic of dynamic habitat conditions in riverscapes across the western United States. For native aquatic species such as Pacific salmon, dynamic landscape processes, such as wildfire, have led to phenotypic variability resulting in population-scale resilience. Anthropogenic land management...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Linked atmospheric and wildfire changes will complicate future management of native coldwater fishes in fire-prone landscapes and new approaches to management that incorporate uncertainty are needed to address this challenge. We used a Bayesian network (BN) approach to evaluate population vulnerability of Bull Trout (Salvelinus confluentus) in the...
Article
Full-text available
Diadromous aquatic species that cross a diverse range of habitats (including marine, estuarine, and freshwater) face different effects of climate change in each environment. One such group of species is the anadromous Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.). Studies of the potential effects of climate change on salmonids have focused on both marine and...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Habitat quality and quantity are key abiotic variables driving the abundance and distribution of salmon in freshwater, but understanding about how these variables affect salmon is minimal in the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim (AYK) region. This diminishes opportunities to predict effects of habitat change on salmon or to know whether freshwater factors are...
Conference Paper
Water temperature is a key control on growth and survival of fishes and ultimately influences productivity and life-history expression. Consequently, understanding the natural variation in thermal conditions across broad spatial scales has important implications for conservation and management of threatened stream fishes. We developed a spatially a...
Conference Paper
For aquatic dependent species, the stream network is the template for connectivity among habitats and individuals. Habitat quality has long been identified as an important factor in the survival and development of healthy populations. For aquatic species, the context of habitat within the mosaic of the riverscape has been challenging to quantify. T...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Of the seven species of Pacific salmon, three are present in self-sustaining populations along the Oregon coast. Chinook (Oncorhynchus tshawytchta), steelhead (O. mykiss,), and coho salmon (O. kisutch) have complicated habitat requirements that include the continuum of freshwater, estuarine and marine habitats. Declini...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Despite extensive investment in estimating when Coastal Oregon coho will return to spawn (Oncorhynchus kisutch, threatened), the mechanism which triggers their upstream migration is not understood. Migration timing of other salmonids has been shown to be an inherited trait, but is also believed to be cued by environmen...
Data
Aquatic ecologists are working to develop theory and techniques for analysis of dynamic stream processes and communities of organisms. Such work is critical for the development of conservation plans that are relevant at the scale of entire ecosystems. The stream network is the foundation upon which stream systems are organized. Natural and human di...
Article
Historically, wildfire was an important agent of change in landscapes across the western United States. Fires of varying magnitudes and extents contributed to a mosaic of dynamic landscape conditions. For the past century, fire management that focuses on fire suppression has effectively altered the composition of many vegetation communities across...
Conference Paper
Estuarine vegetation communities provide critical habitat to diverse assemblages of species including migratory birds, resident shorebirds, and anadromous or resident fishes. Vegetation communities are distributed across a saline gradient from low tidal habitats through salt and brackish marsh types. Predicted increases in sea-level have the potent...
Conference Paper
Hydrologic connectivity is a critical component of habitat quality for riverine fishes that move long distances. The stream network is the foundation upon which stream habitats are organized. How aquatic ecologists address habitat organization within the context of dendritic stream systems is a research question open to discussion and opportunity....
Conference Paper
Pacific salmon evolved within the dynamic riverscape of Pacific Rim freshwater systems. Disturbance processes operating at the scale of decades or centuries ensured the delivery of sediments and wood that created complex stream habitats and river configurations. Over the past century, simplification of stream systems due to anthropogenic actions su...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Introducing science into policy for watershed management can be a contentious process. However, scientists can work to build science-based policy through education and collaboration with landowners and stakeholders from the ground up. Through work with a non-profit watershed council in Oregon, scientists have contribu...
Article
Full-text available
1. In this review, we first summarize how hydrologic connectivity has been studied for riverine fish capable of moving long distances, and then identify research opportunities that have clear conservation significance. Migratory species, such as anadromous salmonids, are good model organisms for understanding ecological connectivity in rivers becau...
Article
Full-text available
"Ecological problem solving requires a flexible social infrastructure that can incorporate scientific insights and adapt to changing conditions. As applied to watershed management, social infrastructure includes mechanisms to design, carry out, evaluate, and modify plans for resource protection or restoration. Efforts to apply the best science will...
Article
Full-text available
Extended Abstract—The redband trout Oncorhynchus mykiss ssp. occurs in interior basins of the Pacific North-west. Oregon's Great Basin populations of redband trout persist in fragmented habitats that are a result of the area's geologic history, more recent hydrologic cycles of flood and drought, and anthropogenic disturbance. Concern about the stat...

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