Locus Focus on 03/19/12
HOW FORESTED RIPARIAN ZONES KEEP STREAMS HEALTHY
For a long time we've known that streams shaded by riparian forests provide healthier habitat for salmon and other wildlife. A new study led by Daniel Sobota at Oregon State University confirms that riparian zone forests not only provide streams with needed shade to support salmon, they also help clean up high levels of nitrate pollutants from human activities that infiltrate waterways. In the study Sobota and his colleagues looked at nine streams in Oregon’s Willamette Valley that flowed through forest, agricultural or urban landscapes. Among their goals was to discover how much nitrogen was absorbed by the streams near the source, and how much went downriver. On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with Daniel Sobota about his study's findings that substantiate the crucial role riparian forests play in maintaing healthy streams flowing through urban areas and agricultural lands.
Daniel Sobota is originally from the Washington, DC, area. He received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Virginia Tech in 2000, and Master of Science and Ph.D. in Fisheries Science from Oregon State in 2003 and 2007, respectively. He has worked as a research associate at Washington State University (Vancouver campus) and is currently a research associate with the National Academy of Sciences in residence at the US Environmental Protection Agency in Corvallis. His research focuses on effects of land use activities on nutrient cycling in streams, rivers, and watersheds.