Fort Collins Science Center

Aquatic/Wetland

The abundance and distribution of populations are critical components for fish and wildlife management. The population ecologists of the Aquatic Systems Branch at FORT conduct field surveys in combination with modeling approaches to estimate the status, detect trends, and understand key processes that underlie spatial and temporal dynamics of populations of aquatic plants and animals in order to aid managers. We use and develop innovative and quantitative techniques and tools to solve problems in conservation, recovery and management.  

Filter Total Items: 12
Date published: June 21, 2018
Status: Active

Water Economics

Water is associated with numerous ecosystem services, including clean water for drinking, support for outdoor recreation, provision for other ecosystem processes, and direct cultural values. 

Date published: November 29, 2016
Status: Active

Large-scale streamflow experiments

Because the underlying cause of riparian system alteration is often attributed to the effects of dams on flow regime, managing flow releases, particularly high flows, from dams is an often-advocated approach to river and riparian restoration. Our work has focused on understanding effects of managed high flow releases (a.k.a., pulse flows, controlled floods) from dams along rivers in the lower...

Date published: November 28, 2016
Status: Active

Streamflow-fluvial Geomorphology-riparian Vegetation Interactions

The foundation for applying science to river and riparian restoration contexts lies in a basic understanding of the factors that drive riparian vegetation dynamics. Much of our research is focused on clarifying relationships between streamflow, fluvial geomorphology, and riparian vegetation, including various feedbacks.

Date published: November 7, 2016
Status: Active

Water from 'Landsat Imagery: A Unique Resource'

Landsat satellites provide high-quality, multi-spectral imagery of the surface of the Earth. These moderate-resolution, remotely sensed images are not just pictures, but contain many layers of data collected at different points along the visible and invisible light spectrum. 

Date published: September 22, 2016
Status: Active

The Western Mountain Initiative (WMI)

Western Mountain Initiative (WMI) is a long-term collaboration between FORT, WERC, NOROCK, USFS, NPS, LANL, and universities worldwide to address changes in montane forests and watersheds due to climate change. Current emphases include altered forest disturbance regimes (fire, die-off, insect outbreaks) and hydrology; interactions between plants, water, snow, nutrient cycles, and climate; and...

Date published: August 29, 2016
Status: Active

Ecological Responses to Fish Reclamation Treatments

Piscicides have been used in Rocky Mountain stream and lakes to restore native fish populations. In the last two decades concerns over piscicide effects to non-target organisms, primarily aquatic invertebrates, has increased. Although piscicides have been used for more than 70 years the impact to invertebrate assemblages has not been well studied and is largely unknown. Given the importance a...

Date published: August 18, 2016
Status: Active

Water Management Studies

As the need for incorporating biological objectives into water management decisions has grown, so has the need for methods and metrics to incorporate predictions of relevant biological responses into an increasingly complex decision environment that attempts to balance multiple uses. 

Date published: August 12, 2016
Status: Archived

Potential Toxicity of Multiple Metals Associated with PGE Deposits

Water quality and aquatic life standards that are set by Federal and state regulatory agencies are used to evaluate the quality of our nation’s water and the health of aquatic ecosystems. These standards currently are based on hardness of the water and are determined for single metals, not for mixtures of metals that are typically found in natural systems. Metal mixtures can potentially be...

Date published: August 2, 2016
Status: Active

Western Mountain Initiative: Central Rocky Mountains

Mountain ecosystems of the western U.S. provide irreplaceable goods and services such as water, wood, biodiversity, and recreational opportunities, but their responses to global changes are poorly understood. The overarching objective of the Western Mountain Initiative (WMI) is to understand and predict the responses, emphasizing sensitivities, thresholds, resistance, and resilience, of...

Date published: July 29, 2016
Status: Active

Ecological Applications of Stable Isotopes

Environmental contaminants of natural and anthropogenic origin represent a major stressor to ecosystems, including human and wildlife populations. FORT scientists are studying these stressors in order to understand the contaminant cycling under natural environmental conditions. Stable isotope techniques are extremely useful in resolving trophic pathways by which contaminants become...

Date published: July 5, 2016
Status: Active

Effects of Contaminants on Linked Aquatic and Terrestrial Food Webs

Most aquatic insects live in fresh water as larvae and move to land as flying adults to complete their life cycle. Although often ignored, the emergence of adults can transfer the effects of contamination from aquatic to terrestrial ecosystems as the adults are eaten by predators such as spiders, birds, and bats.

Date published: May 5, 2016
Status: Active

Western Mountain Initiative: Colorado

Mountain ecosystems of the western U.S. provide irreplaceable goods and services such as water, wood, biodiversity, and recreational opportunities, but their potential responses to anticipated climatic changes are poorly understood. The overarching objective of the Western Mountain Initiative (WMI) is to understand and predict the responses, emphasizing sensitivities, thresholds, resistance,...