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Data Information and Reporting for Indicator D.b.
Oregon Indicator of Sustainable Forest Management D.b.
Biological integrity of forest streams
 

Forestry Program for Oregon Strategy D:
Indicator D.b. is one of three indicators that will measure progress towards achieving Forestry Program for Oregon Strategy D: Protect, maintain, and enhance soil and water resources of Oregon's forests.
 
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Other Indicators for
Stategy D Reporting
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Desired Trend
Index of biotic integrity values in forested Oregon watersheds are stable or improving.

At-a-Glance: Condition, Trend, and Information
 

Condition:Trend:Information:
Mixed or Fair
Uncertain
Partial
Mixed or Fair 
Uncertain 
Partial 

Why is this indicator important?
This is a photo of a dragonfly nymph
A dragonfly nymph
Protecting and enhancing native aquatic biological communities is very important to Oregonians, and forms the basis for many water quality standards.  Although water quality and habitat indicators are important for understanding watershed health, biological indicators are direct measures of biological integrity.  Evaluating the status and trends of biological assemblages is useful because of their sensitivity to management activities, the availability of data, and their importance as a direct measure of ecological integrity. 
 
Macroinvertebrates are an important component of stream ecosystems. They actively link the bottom of the food chain (bacteria, algae, and riparian inputs) to the top of the food chain (fishes and amphibians). Macroinvertebrates are sensitive to a wide range of human-caused stressors, such as organic pollution, increased stream temperature, habitat alteration, and increased suspended, and bedded sediment. Monitoring changes in macroinvertebrates relative to minimally impaired reference streams provides insights into stream conditions and watershed health that chemical water quality alone cannot provide.
 

What does this indicator tell us about sustainable forest management?
Condition:

 Mixed or Fair
Mixed or Fair

The index measuring overall biological condition shows just over half of the sampled forested sites in Oregon in conditions equivalent to, or increased compared to reference conditions and approximately one-quarter of sites in  considerably decreased conditions.
 
At the hydrologic unit, biological conditions were highest on forested sites in the Willamette, Middle Columbia, and Lower Columbia.  Overall biological conditions in the North Coast were intermediate compared to the other hydrologic units assessed. The South Coast showed the lowest overall biological conditions.
 
Within the three western Oregon hydrologic units where condition was assessed by ownership class, overall biological condition was closer to reference conditions on private industrial and federally owned forest sites.  Private non-industrial sites showed the lowest overall biological condition.
 
Private non-industrial sites, which are more likely to be intermixed with other land uses, should perhaps be the highest priority for closer future study. (Hubler, et. al., 2009)

Trend:

 
Uncertain
Trend data for biological integrity of forest streams are not available. Current data can provide a baseline for future systematic sampling needed to establish trends.  A long-term, random sampling design is recommended.

Information:

 Symbol: Partial
Partial
Most of the biological condition data were collected on a single site visit. The data do not represent the daily, seasonal, or annual variability of the conditions at a location. It is a snapshot of one period in time and its associated disturbances, natural and anthropogenic. However, when aggregated with hundreds of other sites to describe a larger spatial scale, some of the daily, seasonal and yearly variability is represented by using the site results as a sample that describes the larger spatial scale.
 
These data also represent conditions primarily during the summer months and may not be representative of conditions throughout the year.  While the data distribution was fairly comprehensive on forest lands across the state, a more rigorous probabilistic sampling is recommended for better landscape and trend assessments. There may be biases associated with geography, land use, or other factors that influence the generalization of the results.  (Hubler)

Types of information produced by this indicator
This indicator will produce information in tabular, graphical, and map formats that integrates complex biological data into a single number that, together with reference condition information, indicates the degree of biological alteration or quality of a given water body.

Map:Site Locations for Water Quality (OWQI) and Macroinvertebrate (Bugs) Samples
This is a map showing the site locations sampling water quality (Oregon Water Quality Index) and macroinvertebrate (bugs)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Figure 1
Printable [JPG] map 
 

Reporting Units


Table 1: Reporting Units (state and 3rd-field HUCs) and whether or not ownership was assessed. 
 

 
Reporting Unit
 
Biological
Ownership
Oregon
 
       
North Coast 
 
South Coast 
 
Willamette 
 
Lower Columbia 
 
Middle Columbia 
 
Lower Snake 
 
Deschutes 
 
John Day 
 
Klamath
 
No forest sites
Oregon Closed Basins
 
No forest sites
Middle Snake/Boise
 
No forest sites
Middle Snake/Powder
 
No forest sites

Report: Conditions of Macroinvertebrate Assemblages
Conditions of macroinvertebrate assemblages for three biological indices on forested sites across Oregon and percent of forest lands in various condition classes.  Summary results were not determined for hydrologic units or ownership classes with a sample size less than 20. (Hubler et al., 2009)
 
 

Fine Sediment StressPREDATORTemperature Stress
 0 - 10 percentLeast disturbed<16 degrees C
 11 - 20 percentEnriched16.0 - 17.9 degrees C
 21 - 30 percentModerately disturbed18.0 - 19.9 degrees C
 >30 percentMost disturbed= or < 20 degrees C
 Not assessed 
 
 

Oregon
 
Conditions of macroinvertebrate assemblages for three biological indices on forested sites across Oregon
 
 
Oregon
Federal
State
Private
Industrial
Private
Non-Industrial
Sample Size (Total=1025)
1025
623
69
171
80
Fine Sediment Stress     
      0-10 
69
77
71
56
44
      11-20 
21
17
17
29
30
      21-30 
7
4
6
9
23
      > 30 
3
2
6
6
4
PREDATOR O/E     
      Least Disturbed
53
55
51
58
35
      Enriched
3
3
1
4
3
      Moderately Disturbed
16
17
12
13
18
      Most Disturbed
24
20
35
25
44
      Not Assessed 
3
5
1
1
1
Temperature Stress     
      <16
32
42
28
15
10
      16.0-17.9
30
27
43
35
23
      18.0-19.9
24
20
26
36
34
      >=20
14
12
3
14
34
 
___________________________________________________________________________________
 

North Coast
 
 
 
 
 

North Coast
Federal
State
Private
Industrial
Private
Non-Industrial
Sample Size
230
68
46
57
24
Fine Sediment Stress     
      0-10
63
69
87
49
46
      11-20
24
24
7
32
29
      21-30
10
7
2
14
25
      > 30
3
0
4
5
0
PREDATOR O/E     
      Least Disturbed
59
69
54
61
38
      Enriched
3
3
2
2
4
      Moderately Disturbed
13
12
11
14
17
      Most Disturbed
26
16
33
23
42
      Not Assessed
0
0
0
0
0
Temperature Stress     
      <16
14
12
37
12
0
      16.0-17.9
38
43
43
32
29
      18.0-19.9
36
38
17
40
16
      >=20
12
7
2
16
17
 
___________________________________________________________________________________
 

South Coast
 
 
 
 

South Coast
Federal
State
Private
Industrial
Private
Non-Industrial
Sample Size
289
167
12
71
24
Fine Sediment Stress     
      0-10
67
81
--
55
33
      11-20
22
16
--
27
38
      21-30
6
1
--
11
21
      > 30
4
2
--
7
8
PREDATOR O/E     
      Least Disturbed
42
45
--
42
29
      Enriched
2
1
--
4
4
      Moderately Disturbed
15
18
--
15
8
      Most Disturbed
33
25
--
37
58
      Not Assessed
8
11
--
1
0
Temperature Stress     
      <16
26
37
--
13
13
      16.0-17.9
28
29
--
32
13
      18.0-19.9
28
22
--
34
33
      >=20
18
12
--
21
42
 
___________________________________________________________________________________
 
 

Willamette
 
 
 
 

Willamette
Federal
State
Private
Industrial
Private
Non-Industrial
Sample Size
216
145
9
29
15
Fine Sediment Stress    
      0-10
82
92
--
69
--
      11-20
14
8
--
28
--
      21-30
2
1
--
0
--
      > 30
1
0
--
3
--
PREDATOR O/E     
      Least Disturbed
42
45
--
42
29
      Enriched
2
1
--
4
4
      Moderately Disturbed
15
18
--
15
8
      Most Disturbed
33
25
--
37
58
      Not Assessed
8
11
--
1
0
Temperature Stress     
      <16
26
37
--
13
13
      16.0-17.9
28
29
--
32
13
      18.0-19.9
28
22
--
34
33
      >=20
18
12
--
21
42
 
___________________________________________________________________________________
 
 

 
Lower Columbia                                                Middle Columbia
 

 
 
 

Lower Columbia
         
 
  
Middle Columbia
 
    
Sample Size
42
          
 
  
31
 
     
Fine Sediment Stress                     
      0-10
81
          
 
  
90
 
     
      11-20
12
          
 
  
6
 
     
      21-30
5
          
 
  
3
 
     
      > 30
2
          
 
  
0
 
     
PREDATOR O/E                    
      Least Disturbed
62
          
 
  
68
 
     
      Enriched
2
          
 
  
3
 
     
      Moderately Disturbed
14
          
 
  
16
 
     
      Most Disturbed
17
          
 
  
10
 
     
      Not Assessed
5
          
 
  
3
 
     
Temperature Stress                    
      <16
64
          
 
  
71
 
     
      16.0-17.9
19
          
 
  
16
 
     
      18.0-19.9
14
          
 
  
6
 
     
      >=20
2
          
 
  
6
 
     
 
___________________________________________________________________________________
 

 
Lower Snake                                                      Deschutes
 

  
 
 

Lower Snake
           
 
  
Deschutes
 
    
Sample Size
31
             
 
  
52
 
     
Fine Sediment Stress                        
      0-10
68
             
 
  
44
 
     
      11-20
26
             
 
  
35
 
     
      21-30
6
             
 
  
17
 
     
      > 30
0
             
 
  
4
 
     
PREDATOR O/E                       
      Least Disturbed
42
             
 
  
48
 
     
      Enriched
3
             
 
  
2
 
     
      Moderately Disturbed
29
             
 
  
23
 
     
      Most Disturbed
26
             
 
  
27
 
     
      Not Assessed
0
             
 
  
0
 
     
Temperature Stress                       
      <16
42
             
 
  
17
 
     
      16.0-17.9
23
             
 
  
27
 
     
      18.0-19.9
6
             
 
  
19
 
     
      >=20
29
             
 
  
37
 
     
 
___________________________________________________________________________________
 

John Day
 
 
 


John Day
           
 
  
 
 
    
Sample Size
90
             
 
  
 
 
     
Fine Sediment Stress                       
      0-10
62
             
 
  
 
 
     
      11-20
28
             
 
  
 
 
     
      21-30
6
             
 
  
 
 
     
      > 30
4
             
 
  
 
 
     
PREDATOR O/E                       
      Least Disturbed
56
             
 
  
 
 
     
      Enriched
6
             
 
  
 
 
     
      Moderately Disturbed
17
             
 
  
 
 
     
      Most Disturbed
22
             
 
  
 
 
     
      Not Assessed
0
             
 
  
 
 
     
Temperature Stress                      
      <16
37
             
 
  
 
 
     
      16.0-17.9
19
             
 
  
 
 
     
      18.0-19.9
28
             
 
  
 
 
     
      >=20
17
             
 
  
 
 
     
 
___________________________________________________________________________________

Reports and References for Indicator D.b.

Evaluation by the Oregon Roundtable on Sustainable Forests on this indicator
 

Metrics and Data Sources


Metric
Data Source
For macro invertebrates (mostly aquatic insects) and vertebrates (fish and aquatic amphibians): Species richness, Percent alien species, Percent cool water individuals, Percent anadromous individuals, Percent coldwater species, Number of tolerant individuals, Number of native coldwater species and individuals and Number of size classes.Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Environmental Protection Agency, and Oregon State University

Related State, National, or International Indicators
  • Montreal Process: Criterion 4—Conservation and Maintenance of Soil and Water Resources:  2003 Indicator 23:  Percent of water bodies in forest areas (e.g. stream kilometres, lake hectares) with significant variance of biological diversity from the historic range of variability; and 2010 Indicator 21: Area and percent of water bodies, or stream length, in forest areas with significant change in physical, chemical or biological properties from reference conditions
  • European Union, Water Framework Directive: Status of fish assemblages in the European Union
  • USEPA, EMAP: Status of aquatic vertebrate and macroinvertebrate assemblages in the streams and rivers of the mid-Atlantic and western conterminous states
  • USEPA, Office of Water: Status and trends in aquatic vertebrate and macroinvertebrate assemblages in the streams and rivers of the USA states
  • Oregon Benchmarks: Environment--79: Percent of streams with (a) increasing and (b) decreasing water quality trends and (c) good to excellent condition
  • Environmental Indicators for the Oregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds: Index of Biotic Integrity
  • Oregon State of the Environment Report:  Trends in the health of stream communities using an index comparing invertebrate populations to those expected in healthy aquatic habitats; the percentage of wild, native fish populations, including
    salmon, that are classified as healthy
  • California DFG: Status and trends of aquatic macroinvertebrate assemblages in California streams
  • Iowa DNR: Status and trends of aquatic vertebrate and macroinvertebrate assemblages in Iowa streams and rivers
  • Kentucky DEP:  Status and trends of aquatic vertebrate and macroinvertebrate assemblages in Kentucky streams
  • Maryland DNR:  Status and trends of aquatic vertebrate assemblages in Maryland streams
  • Ohio EPA:  Status and trends of aquatic vertebrate and macroinvertebrate assemblages in Ohio streams and rivers
  • Texas DWP: Status and trends of aquatic vertebrate and macroinvertebrate assemblages in Texas streams
  • Vermont DEC: Status and trends of aquatic vertebrate assemblages in Vermont streams