Stream Temperature Response to Three Riparian Vegetation Scenarios by Use of a Distributed Temperature Validated Model
Elevated in-stream temperature has led to a surge in the occurrence of parasitic intrusion proliferative kidney disease and has resulted in fish kills throughout Switzerland's waterways. Data from distributed temperature sensing (DTS) in-stream measurements for three cloud-free days in August 2007 over a 1260 m stretch of the Boiron de Morges River in southwest Switzerland were used to calibrate and validate a physically based one-dimensional stream temperature model. Stream temperature response to three distinct riparian conditions were then modeled: open, in-stream reeds, and forest cover. Simulation predicted a mean peak stream temperature increase of 0.7 degrees C if current vegetation was removed, an increase of 0.1 degrees C if dense reeds covered the entire stream reach, and a decrease of 1.2 degrees C if a mature riparian forest covered the entire reach. Understanding that full vegetation canopy cover is the optimal riparian management option for limiting stream temperature, in-stream reeds, which require no riparian set-aside and grow very quickly, appear to provide substantial thermal control, potentially useful for land-use management.