Regional Monitoring Networks to Detect Climate Change Effects in Stream Ecosystems (External Review Draft)

US EPA, National Center for Environmental Assessment
http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/global/recordisplay.cfm?deid=295758

This document describes the development of the current RMNs for riffle-dominated, freshwater wadeable streams. It contains information on selection of candidate sites, expectations for data collection, the rationale for collecting these data, and provides examples of how the RMN data will be used and analyzed.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) is working with its regional offices, states, tribes, and other entities to establish Regional Monitoring Networks (RMNs) at which biological, thermal, and hydrologic data will be collected from freshwater wadeable streams to quantify and monitor changes in baseline condition, including climate change effects. RMNs have been established in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Southeast, and efforts are expanding into other regions. The need for RMNs stems from the lack of long-term, contemporaneous biological, thermal, and hydrologic data, particularly at minimally disturbed sites. Data collected at RMNs will be used to: detect temporal trends; investigate relationships between biological, thermal, and hydrologic data; explore ecosystem responses and recovery from extreme weather events; test hypotheses and predictive models related to climate change; and quantify natural variability. RMN surveys build on existing bioassessment efforts, with the goal of collecting comparable data that can be pooled efficiently at a regional level. This document describes the development of the current RMNs for riffle-dominated, freshwater wadeable streams. It contains information on selection of candidate sites, expectations for data collection, the rationale for collecting these data, and provides examples of how the RMN data will be used and analyzed.

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