A JFSP Fire Science Exchange Network
Bringing People Together & Sharing Knowledge in the Northern Rockies

Wildfire Effects on Water Quantity, Water Quality, and Aquatic Ecology

Date: April 13, 2021
Presenter(s): Kevin D. Bladon

Wildfires have the potential to have devastating effects on aquatic ecosystems and community drinking water supply through impacts on water quantity and quality. Given the recent shifts in the wildfire regime in many parts of the world, the implications of wildfire for aquatic ecosystem health and downstream water uses are increasingly concerning. Moreover, our post-fire land management decisions are likely to influence the hydrologic and water quality response. Here, we will present an overview of the range of effects of wildfires on streamflow, physical water quality (e.g., suspended sediment, turbidity, stream temperature), chemical water quality (e.g., nutrients, metals), biological water quality (e.g., algal productivity, invertebrates, fish) and discuss some general implications for downstream drinking water treatment. We will also present research results on how various post-fire management options may exacerbate or mitigate post-fire effects, which will also illustrate the need for future research in this area.

Topic(s): Fire Ecology, Fire Effects, Ecological - Second Order, Aquatic Life, Fire & Economics, Post-fire Management, Post-fire Rehabilitation, Erosion Control, Recovery after fire, Restoration
Ecosystem(s): None
Type: Webinar
NRFSN number: 23331
FRAMES RCS number: 63737
Record updated: Jun 11, 2021