Relatively few evaluations of aquatic macroinvertebrate and fish communities have been published in
peer-reviewed literature detailing the effect of varying residual basal area (RBA) after timber harvesting
in riparian buffers. Our analysis investigated the effects of partial harvesting within riparian buffers
on aquatic macroinvertebrate and fish communities in small streams from two experiments in northern
Minnesota northern hardwood-aspen forests. Each experiment evaluated partial harvesting within
riparian buffers. In both experiments, benthic macroinvertebrates and fish were collected 1 year prior
to harvest and in each of 3 years after harvest. We observed interannual variation for the macroinvertebrate
abundance, diversity and taxon richness in the single-basin study and abundance and diversity in
the multiple-basin study, but few effects related to harvest treatments in either study. However, interannual
variation was not evident in the fish communities and we detected no significant changes in
the stream fish communities associated with partially harvested riparian buffers in either study. This
would suggest that timber harvesting in riparian management zones along reaches ≤200m in length
on both sides of the stream that retains RBA≥12.4±1.3m2 ha−1 or on a single side of the stream that
retains RBA≥8.7±1.6m2 ha−1 may be adequate to protect macroinvertebrate and fish communities in
our Minnesota study systems given these specific timber harvesting techniques.
Chizinski, Christopher, J.; Vondracek, Bruce; Blinn, Charles, R.; Newman, Raymond, M.; Atuke, Dickson, M.; Fredricks, Keith; Hemstad, Nathaniel, A.; Merten, Eric; Schlesser, Nicholas.
The influence of partial timber harvesting in riparian buffers on macroinvertebrate and fish communities in small streams in Minnesota, USA.
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