Meadow restoration under a changing climate:
We are currently working with Dr. Steve Loheide at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on an NSF-sponsored project examing how meadow ecology is likely to change with response to climate and snowmelt shifts. Meadow vegetation depends critically on groundwater levels, which are highly correlated with snowmelt patterns and the hydrology of small, tributary streams. Here, we are using a distributed network of 80 groundwater wells, 3 soil moisture arrays, 15 stream gages, 5 snow pillow weather stations, and 50 temperature sensors, combined with LIDAR and MODIS remote sensing, to develop models that can predict how inflow to the meadow will affect stream levels, groundwater levels, and meadow communities in a warmer climate. This will be used to guide park decisions on where meadow restoration efforts will be most effective.
Currently, graduate student Nicoleta Cristea is downscaling future climate models to assess climate change impacts to the hydrology of the meadows. Graduate student Courtney Moore is using fieldwork and Hec-RAS modeling to assess how channel restoration techniques could be used to increase stream water levels and help groundwater dependent ecosystems combat climate change.
Publications related to this project include:
Cooper, D. J., J. D. Lundquist, J. King, A Flint, L. Flint, E. Wolf, F. C. Lott, and J. Roche 2006. Effects of the Tioga Road on hydrologic processes and Lodgepole Pine invasion into Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite National Park, Report prepared for Yosemite National Park. 146 pp.
Lundquist, J. D. and J. Roche, 2009. Climate change and water supply in western national parks,Park Science, ISSN 1090-9966.
Loheide, S. P. II, and J. D. Lundquist, 2009. Snowmelt-induced diel fluxes through the hyporheic zone,Water Resources Research, 45, W07404, doi:10.1029/2008WR007329.
Loheide, S. P., R. S. Deitchman, D. J. Cooper, E. C. Wolf, C. T. Hammersmark, and J. D. Lundquist, 2009. Hydroecology of impacted wet meadows in the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Ranges, CA. Hydrogeology Journal, 17, 229-246. Doi: 10.1007/s10040-008-0380-4
Lowrey, C., J. Deems, S. Loheide, and J. D. Lundquist, 2010. Linking snowmelt derived recharge and groundwater flow in a high elevation meadow system, Sierra Nevada Mountains, California, Hydrological Processes, in press.
Loheide, S. P., R. S. Deitchman, D. J. Cooper, E. C. Wolf, C. T. Hammersmark, and J. D. Lundquist, 2010. Reply to comment on "A framework for understanding the hydroecology of impacted wet meadows in the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Ranges, California, USA": paper published in/ Hydrogeology Journal/ (2009) 17:229-246, Hydrogeology J., in press. doi: 10.1007/s10040-010-0635-8
Click here for a pdf file of a powerpoint presentation shared with Tuolumne Meadows Interpretive Rangers in June 2008. The file is approximately 5 MB, so be careful if you have a slow internet connection.
Click on the "Publications" tab above to see further publications related to this research.
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0729830.
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations
expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not
necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.