North Creek as viewed through two shutter speeds.
Last week’s intense rain-on-snow precipitation event caused bank overflow at Jennings’ Woods, destroying some riparian zone experimental plots. Another large rain event occurred/is occurring this weekend, and I was able to snap some photographs of the river at bank height. This corresponds with a gauge height of approximately 5 ft at the USGS West Branch of the Mahoning Station near Ravenna, Ohio. Below are a few panoramas: (1) just upstream from the McCormick Rd bridge, (2) at the second major bend, and (3) a decent way into the property, where the last of Peter’s plot were.
Today, with the much-appreciated help of a few volunteers, Jessica’s artificial loaves of leaves were set in the stream. The next couple of weeks will include some intense sampling and processing efforts, but given the work done today, it won’t be a problem.
Nine artificial loaves were attached to stakes set into the stream bed in five different riffles. The nine include two leaf treatments, previously conditioned in the stream and unconditioned. Jessica will be sampling them to examine winter invertebrate colonization and FPOM deposition.
|An hour and a half hike up the Hitoy Cerere River in the biological reserved named for the river, Boa and I came across the pictured waterfall spilling into the Hitoy. The name of the river comes from a language spoken by Native Americans in Costa Rica, and I think it translates to describe the clear water and rounded rocks covering the river bed.
The reserve is hidden away up the mountains from Dole’s banana plantations in Valle La Estrella (see the map below) and protects part of Rio Hitoy Cerere’s watershed and most of a few other smaller tributaries draining from the north. Guessing from experience in temperate and tropical systems, I’d estimate Hitoy to be a 5th order stream: large and open, but not reliably navigable. Further, the river is superficially similar to that in another reserve I’ve had the opportunity to visit near San Ramón – the San Lorencito in Reserva Biológica Alberto Manuel Brenes. The cline is certainly not as steep, and the fish assemblage is more substantial (i.e., high abundances of characids and greater fish diversity) due to the lower elevation of Hitoy, but the surrounding/riparian forests and soils are appear similar.
ANAI, a group developing biomonitoring techniques for Costa Rica water ways, has used Hitoy as a referencing point for both aquatic invertebrates and fishes.
Now… all I need is to develop a proposal examining elevational gradient effects on invertebrate and fish communities important in Costa Rican biomonitoring… then I can work in these unbelievably beautiful stream locations.
I study decomposition in aquatic systems, and most research in this area focuses on leaves as the major source of outside input of organic matter into these systems. However, in tropical systems, flower and fruit material can make up a substantial portion of OM input in streams, as discuss in Tropical Steam Ecology and evidenced in this photograph.
While sampling, flower parts rained into Rio Camarones in Sirena, completely covering the surface. And, just like in Ohio, the stream was filled with abundant crustaceans, probably acting as shredders!