Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2015KY240B

Long term effects of forestry best management practices on hydrology and water chemistry in three Appalachian headwater catchments

Institute: Kentucky
Year Established: 2015 Start Date: 2015-03-01 End Date: 2016-02-29
Total Federal Funds: $2,550 Total Non-Federal Funds: $5,433

Principal Investigators: Carmen Agouridis

Abstract: A thorough investigation into the long-term effectiveness of forestry BMP use is needed, particularly with respect to riparian buffers, to provide a framework for understanding how such BMPs can protect headwater stream systems. A study was initiated in 1983 to evaluate BMP effectiveness on three streams in the Field Branch watershed of the University of Kentuckys Robinson Forest, an experimental forest located in the Cumberland Plateau of eastern Kentucky. Treatments included a control or reference watershed, a watershed that was harvested with a 50-ft buffer along the perennial stream segment, and a watershed that was harvested completely to the stream bank without BMPs (i.e. loggers choice). Monitoring has continued in the three watersheds since 1983. This long-term record presents a unique opportunity. We will compile all hydrologic and water quality data collected over the last 30 years in these watersheds and assess how water chemistry, stream discharge, and storm flow parameters have changed using standard statistical procedures such as regression models and analysis of variance.