OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

When it comes to keeping streams cool, buffer strips help but geology rules

“In Coast Range and Western Cascades catchments, where our study streams were located, streams that are small and non-fish bearing have no regulatory requirement for an overstory riparian buffer,” said Kevin Bladon, lead author and assistant professor in the College of Forestry at Oregon State University. “As a result, we observed some warming of the stream water. However, if the geology is permeable — where we have a lot of groundwater inputs into the system — that warm water didn’t persist downstream. As soon as it flowed back into a forested stream reach again, the temperature stabilized.”