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Aquatic Ecosystems

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Modeling the impacts of Glen Canyon Dam operations on downstream Colorado River resources

This presentation reports results of modeling led by US Geological Survey's Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center.
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Modeling the impacts of Glen Canyon Dam operations on downstream Colorado River resources

This presentation reports results of modeling led by US Geological Survey's Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center.
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Bat foraging ecology along the Colorado River in Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon National Park is a hotspot for bat diversity. Twenty-two bat species have been documented in the Park, more than any other national park unit.
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Bat foraging ecology along the Colorado River in Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon National Park is a hotspot for bat diversity. Twenty-two bat species have been documented in the Park, more than any other national park unit.
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Smallmouth bass expansion downstream of Glen Canyon Dam

In the Upper Colorado River Basin, smallmouth bass ( Micropterus dolomieu ) are considered the greatest threat to native fishes and have been linked to declines in federally protected humpback chub ( Gila cypha ), including one population that was rapidly extirpated in the past. Long-term management efforts have been underway to remove smallmouth bass from rivers in the Upper Basin, but smallmouth...
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Smallmouth bass expansion downstream of Glen Canyon Dam

In the Upper Colorado River Basin, smallmouth bass ( Micropterus dolomieu ) are considered the greatest threat to native fishes and have been linked to declines in federally protected humpback chub ( Gila cypha ), including one population that was rapidly extirpated in the past. Long-term management efforts have been underway to remove smallmouth bass from rivers in the Upper Basin, but smallmouth...
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Population Dynamics of Threatened Humpback Chub in Grand Canyon

The federally-listed threatened humpback chub is a native fish of the Colorado River. Despite the environmental changes to the river following the construction of Glen Canyon Dam, humpback chub persists alongside nonnative species, including rainbow trout. The pre-dam Colorado River experienced seasonal variation in temperature and discharge. Seasonal flooding resulted in sediments carried...
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Population Dynamics of Threatened Humpback Chub in Grand Canyon

The federally-listed threatened humpback chub is a native fish of the Colorado River. Despite the environmental changes to the river following the construction of Glen Canyon Dam, humpback chub persists alongside nonnative species, including rainbow trout. The pre-dam Colorado River experienced seasonal variation in temperature and discharge. Seasonal flooding resulted in sediments carried...
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Community Science in Grand Canyon

Aquatic insects are important components of riverine foodwebs as they are prey for fish, birds, bats, lizards, and spiders. The closure of Glen Canyon Dam in 1963 fundamentally altered the hydrology, water temperature, and turbidity of the Colorado River through Grand Canyon. These changes, along with competition with invasive species and limited food availability have led to the decline and...
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Community Science in Grand Canyon

Aquatic insects are important components of riverine foodwebs as they are prey for fish, birds, bats, lizards, and spiders. The closure of Glen Canyon Dam in 1963 fundamentally altered the hydrology, water temperature, and turbidity of the Colorado River through Grand Canyon. These changes, along with competition with invasive species and limited food availability have led to the decline and...
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Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Projects

The Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center currently functions under a Triennial Work Plan (TWP) which is thoroughly reviewed and vetted both internally within the Center and through the GCDAMP Technical Work Group (TWG) and the Adaptive Management Work Group (AMWG). These advisory panels have been a part of the Glen Canyon Dam adaptive management process since the inception of the GCDAMP...
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Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Projects

The Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center currently functions under a Triennial Work Plan (TWP) which is thoroughly reviewed and vetted both internally within the Center and through the GCDAMP Technical Work Group (TWG) and the Adaptive Management Work Group (AMWG). These advisory panels have been a part of the Glen Canyon Dam adaptive management process since the inception of the GCDAMP...
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Bug Flows: Improving Food Web Health on the Colorado River

Native and desired nonnative fish downstream of Glen Canyon Dam are food limited—meaning that if more or larger invertebrate food items were available, there would be more and larger fish. Aquatic insects have complex life cycles that include egg, larvae, and pupal stages that are aquatic while adults have wings and are typically terrestrial. Aquatic insects are a fundamental component of river...
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Bug Flows: Improving Food Web Health on the Colorado River

Native and desired nonnative fish downstream of Glen Canyon Dam are food limited—meaning that if more or larger invertebrate food items were available, there would be more and larger fish. Aquatic insects have complex life cycles that include egg, larvae, and pupal stages that are aquatic while adults have wings and are typically terrestrial. Aquatic insects are a fundamental component of river...
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Lake Powell Research

Lake Powell is a large arid reservoir that represents about 70% of the water storage capacity for the Upper Colorado River Basin. It is the second largest reservoir in the United States by capacity (second only to Lake Mead). Lake Powell is an oligotrophic reservoir, which means that nutrient concentrations and algal production are generally low. This often results in very clear-water conditions...
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Lake Powell Research

Lake Powell is a large arid reservoir that represents about 70% of the water storage capacity for the Upper Colorado River Basin. It is the second largest reservoir in the United States by capacity (second only to Lake Mead). Lake Powell is an oligotrophic reservoir, which means that nutrient concentrations and algal production are generally low. This often results in very clear-water conditions...
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Is timing really everything? Evaluating Resource Response to Spring Disturbance Flows

Glen Canyon Dam has altered ecological processes of the Colorado River in Grand Canyon. Before the dam was built, the Colorado River experienced seasonable variable flow rates, including springtime flooding events. These spring floods scoured the river bottom and enhanced natural processes that sustained the Colorado River ecosystem. Since the dam’s construction in 1963, springtime floods have...
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Is timing really everything? Evaluating Resource Response to Spring Disturbance Flows

Glen Canyon Dam has altered ecological processes of the Colorado River in Grand Canyon. Before the dam was built, the Colorado River experienced seasonable variable flow rates, including springtime flooding events. These spring floods scoured the river bottom and enhanced natural processes that sustained the Colorado River ecosystem. Since the dam’s construction in 1963, springtime floods have...
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River Sediment Dynamics

Sediment controls the physical habitat of river ecosystems. Changes in the amount and areal distribution of different sediment types cause changes in river-channel form and river habitat. The amount and type of sediment suspended in the water column determines water clarity. Understanding sediment transport and the conditions under which sediment is deposited or eroded from the various...
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River Sediment Dynamics

Sediment controls the physical habitat of river ecosystems. Changes in the amount and areal distribution of different sediment types cause changes in river-channel form and river habitat. The amount and type of sediment suspended in the water column determines water clarity. Understanding sediment transport and the conditions under which sediment is deposited or eroded from the various...
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River Geomorphology and Geomorphic Change

River channels and their adjacent floodplains are ever evolving in form and composition in response to changing patterns of streamflow, the quantity and size of supplied sediment, and feedbacks with the riparian and aquatic ecosystems. Changes in channel form affect aquatic and riparian habitats, which are important for plants, animals, and insects. Erosion and deposition of river channels and...
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River Geomorphology and Geomorphic Change

River channels and their adjacent floodplains are ever evolving in form and composition in response to changing patterns of streamflow, the quantity and size of supplied sediment, and feedbacks with the riparian and aquatic ecosystems. Changes in channel form affect aquatic and riparian habitats, which are important for plants, animals, and insects. Erosion and deposition of river channels and...
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Sediment Storage in Grand Canyon

The sandbars exposed along the shoreline of the Colorado River represent only a small fraction of the sand deposits in Grand Canyon, most of which are on the bed of the river in eddies and the channel. Current management practice includes efforts to maintain and build sandbars by releasing high flows from Glen Canyon Dam that are timed to coincide with periods of fine-sediment supply from...
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Sediment Storage in Grand Canyon

The sandbars exposed along the shoreline of the Colorado River represent only a small fraction of the sand deposits in Grand Canyon, most of which are on the bed of the river in eddies and the channel. Current management practice includes efforts to maintain and build sandbars by releasing high flows from Glen Canyon Dam that are timed to coincide with periods of fine-sediment supply from...
Learn More