Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Minnesota
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Minnesota Project

Comparison of effects on stream habitat and fish nine years

July 2006 - June 2008


Participating Agencies

  • U.S. Forest Service
  • Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
  • National Council for Air and Stream Improvement

Riparian guidelines have been the most controversial of the seven components of Minnesota’s forest management guidelines. Research addressing the long-term effectiveness of riparian guidelines is critical to resolving riparian management conflicts, informing the ongoing revisions of the Minnesota Forest Resources Council’s (MFRC) riparian guidelines, and sustaining Minnesota’s forest resources. This project will (1) evaluate the long-term effectiveness of Minnesota’s riparian guidelines on eight northern Minnesota sites and at 12 previously established sites in the Pokegama Creek basin, (2) combine and synthesize data from the multiple study components through a “meta-analysis,” and (3) provide information to natural resource professionals about riparian zone management. Specifically, we: (1) evaluate the effects of riparian harvest on stream ecosystem functioning using measures of invertebrate biomass, in-stream leaf and wood decomposition rates, in-stream habitat, and food web analyses and (2) evaluate the effects of harvest treatments through time on both the terrestrial (birds, trees and herbaceous biomass) and aquatic habitat components as well as changes of terrestrial and aquatic communities (fish and invertebrate) in a meta-analysis.

Research Publications Publication Date
Merten, E. C., N. A. Hemstad, S. L. Eggert, L. B. Johnson, R K. Kolka, R. M. Newman, and B. Vondracek. 2010. Relations between fish abundances, summer temperatures, and forest harvest in a northern Minnesota stream system from 1997 to 2007. Ecology of Freshwater Fish 19:63-73. February 2010
Merten, E. C., N. A. Hemstad, R. K. Kolka, R. M. Newman, E. S. Verry, and B. Vondracek. 2010. Relationship of sediment dynamics in moraine, headwater streams in northern Minnesota to forest harvest. Journal of the American Water Resources Association 46(4):733-743. | Abstract August 2010