The Sierra Nevada, California's iconic mountain range, harbours thousands of remote high-elevation lakes from which water flows to sustain agriculture and cities. As climate and air quality in the region change, so do the watershed processes upon which these lakes depend. In order to understand the future of California's ecology and natural resources, we need an integrated account of the environmental processes that underlie these aquatic systems.
Synthesizing over three decades of research on the lakes and watersheds of the Sierra Nevada, this book develops an integrated account of the hydrological and biogeochemical systems that sustain them. With a focus on Emerald Lake in Sequoia National Park, the book marshals long-term limnological and ecological data to provide a detailed and synthetic account, while also highlighting the vulnerability of Sierra lakes to changes in climate and atmospheric deposition. In so doing, it lays the scientific foundations for predicting and understanding how the lakes and watersheds will respond.
Preface and Acknowledgments
1. Introduction to the Sierra Nevada
- Physical Features
- Ecological Aspects
- Cultural History
- History of Natural Resource Use and Conservation
2. Introduction to High-Elevation Lakes and Watersheds of the Sierra Nevada
- Lakes of the Sierra Nevada
- Descriptions of Specific Lakes and Watersheds
3. Snow Hydrology
- Snow as a Source of Water to Lakes and Watersheds
- Measurements of Snow
- Spatial and Temporal Distribution of Sierra Nevada Snow
- Modeling Snowmelt
- Future Directions
4. Watershed Hydrology
- Methods and Uncertainties
- Stream Discharge
- Water Budgets
5. Watershed Biogeochemistry
- Solute Concentrations in Snow and Rain
- Release of Solutes from Snow
- Outflow Solute Concentrations
- Solute Balances
- Geochemical Processes Influencing Solute Concentrations
- Use of Models to Understand and Predict Hydrochemistry
- Nitrogen Dynamics and Mass Balances
- Phosphorus Dynamics and Mass Balances
- Physical Processes
- Catchment Characteristics and Dissolved Organic Matter
- Ecosystem Metabolism and Rates of Primary Production and Respiration
- Aquatic Organisms
7. Variability, Trends, and Future Scenarios
- Climate Warming Trends
- Changes in Precipitation
- Regional Variations and Trends in SWE
- Ice Cover Duration
- Long-Term Patterns in Lake Temperatures
- Snowmelt Dynamics
- Hydrochemical and Biological Responses to Variations in SWE and Snowmelt
- Future Climate Scenarios
- Climate Change Challenges and Future Directions
John M. Melack is Distinguished Professor in the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management and the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and the American and American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Steven Sadro is Assistant Professor of Environmental Science and Policy at the University of California, Davis.
James O. Sickman is Professor of Hydrology at the University of California, Riverside.
Jeff Dozier is Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at University of California, Santa Barbara. He is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and is a Distinguished Scientist for the Chinese Academy of Science.