Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program
FIA Project Y073128

    Bioassessment of streams in North Central British Columbia using the reference condition approach
Project lead: Sharpe, Ian
Contributing Authors: Perrin, Chris J.; Bennett, Shauna A.; Linke, S.; Downie, A.J.; Tamblyn, Gregory C.; Ells, B.; Sharpe, Ian; Bailey, R.C.
Imprint: Vancouver, BC : Limnotek Research and Development Inc., 2007
Subject: Forest Investment Account (FIA), Streams, British Columbia
Series: Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program
Theme: 'Sustainable Forest Management Indicators, Targets and Monitoring Systems'. Forest harvesting in BC is moving towards 'outcome' based management. New tools are needed to measure the effectiveness of forest practices in meeting a range of goals, including sustaining aquatic ecosystems. A benthic macroinvertebrate (BI) sustainability indicator system, part of a performance based forest harvesting aquatic impact assessment toolbox has been under development for 4 years in Skeena Region. Other such BI monitoring and assessment systems are also being developed around the world, and it is intended that this research project will rely on advances from this work, as well as local research (see original proposal for details). This two pronged approach is made possible through a research team with relevant expertise from the US, Australia, Ontario and British Columbia. To improve the understanding and resolution of the BI monitoring and assessment system, 3 elements need further research, including sampling protocol optimization, statistical design for impact classification/assessment and the adaptive management framework using bio-criteria. The 3 year project will lead to a proven sustainability indicator of aquatic ecosystem health, intended for use in Forest Stewardship Plans, Sustainable Forest Management Plans, Land and Resource Management Plans, as well as in Forest Product Certification systems. This tool, once set as a RISC Standard and combined with other indicators of aquatic ecosystem sustainability (fish and fish habitat) will serve as a monitoring and assessment feedback mechanism to determine the effectiveness of forest practices in protecting valued aquatic resources. It is intended that progress made in this project will lead to province wide application of the methods developed.. An experimental approach using the existing forest harvesting landscape, and streams within it will provide the basis for developing models of how human influence related stressor gradients in watersheds affect BI assemblages found in streams. Models that best explain these relationships will be adopted for use in generating a sustainability indicator scoring system. In doing this, analyses of resolution of effect, cost, operational limitations and applicability to forest harvesting adaptive management will be made. The product will be embedded in an existing Environment Canada database management system and will include protocols for generating and using the statistically derived sustainability indicator models. Details will be provided on how stream condition ratings can be validated through statistical analyses on an ongoing basis, and the steps necessary for quality control and assurance.
Related projects:  FSP_Y051128FSP_Y062128


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Updated August 16, 2010 

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