Cooperative Research Units
Education, Research And Technical Assistance For Managing Our Natural Resources
Home | Intranet | Digital Measures | Help

Comparison of effects on stream habitat and fish nine years


July 2006 - June 2008


Riparian guidelines have been the most controversial of the seven components of Minnesota’s forest management guidelines. Research addressing the long-term effectiveness of riparian guidelines is critical to resolving riparian management conflicts, informing the ongoing revisions of the Minnesota Forest Resources Council’s (MFRC) riparian guidelines, and sustaining Minnesota’s forest resources. This project will (1) evaluate the long-term effectiveness of Minnesota’s riparian guidelines on eight northern Minnesota sites and at 12 previously established sites in the Pokegama Creek basin, (2) combine and synthesize data from the multiple study components through a “meta-analysis,” and (3) provide information to natural resource professionals about riparian zone management. Specifically, we: (1) evaluate the effects of riparian harvest on stream ecosystem functioning using measures of invertebrate biomass, in-stream leaf and wood decomposition rates, in-stream habitat, and food web analyses and (2) evaluate the effects of harvest treatments through time on both the terrestrial (birds, trees and herbaceous biomass) and aquatic habitat components as well as changes of terrestrial and aquatic communities (fish and invertebrate) in a meta-analysis.

Research Products and Activities

Peer Reviewed Publications

  • Merten, E. C., N. A. Hemstad, S. L. Eggert, L. B. Johnson, R K. Kolka, R. M. Newman, and B. Vondracek. 2010. Relations between fish abundances, summer temperatures, and forest harvest in a northern Minnesota stream system from 1997 to 2007. Ecology of Freshwater Fish 19:63-73.
  • Merten, E. C., N. A. Hemstad, R. K. Kolka, R. M. Newman, E. S. Verry, and B. Vondracek. 2010. Relationship of sediment dynamics in moraine, headwater streams in northern Minnesota to forest harvest. Journal of the American Water Resources Association 46(4):733-743. Abstract | 

Current Staff

Federal Staff: 95

Masters Students: 238

Phd Students: 144

Post Docs: 54

University Staff: 239

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 673

Scientific Publications: 1905

Presentations: 4236



  • Bruce VondracekCo-Principal Investigator
  • Eric MertenStudent

Funding Agencies

  • Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
  • National Council for Air and Stream Improvement
  • U.S. Forest Service


Cooperative Research Units Program Headquarters Cooperators

  1. U.S. Geological Survey