Snow in mountain watersheds: Connections to climate and ecosystem health

TitleSnow in mountain watersheds: Connections to climate and ecosystem health
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference1990
AuthorsSommerfeld, R. A., Fox D. G., and Musselman R. C.
Conference Name58th Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the 58th Annual Western Snow Conference
Date PublishedApril 1990
PublisherWestern Snow Conference
Conference LocationSacramento, California
KeywordsClimate, Ecosystem, Snowpack chemistry

The amount of snow accumulated annually in mountain watersheds profoundly affects those watersheds as well as downstream users. The amount of snow affects the snow melt pattern and the delivery of water and associated nutrients to ecosystems. In turn, the amount of snow is affected by larger scale variables such as wind, precipitation and temperature. The chemistry of the snow pack is affected by atmospheric quality and affects productivity and health of dependent high elevation lakes and streams. Processes associated with these interactions are reviewed. A series of studies designed to improve our understanding of the role of mountain snow on regional water availability and on the health and viability of high-elevation ecosystems will be outlined.This paper also reviews snow research conducted at the Glacier Lakes Ecosystems Experiment Site (GLEES) in the Snowy Range Mountains.