Stream temperature has direct and indirect effects on stream ecology and is critical in determining both abiotic and biotic system responses across a hierarchy of spatial and temporal scales. Temperature variation is primarily driven by solar radiation, while landscape topography, geology, and stream reach processes across ecosystem scales contribute to local variability. Spatiotemporal heterogeneity in freshwater ecosystems influences habitat distributions, physiological functions, and phenology of all aquatic organisms. In this chapter, we provide an overview of methods for monitoring stream temperature, characterization of thermal profiles, and modeling approaches to stream temperature prediction. Recent advances in temperature monitoring allow more comprehensive studies of the underlying processes influencing annual variation of temperatures and how thermal variability may impact aquatic organisms at individual-, population-, and community-based scales. Likewise, the development of spatially explicit predictive models provides a framework for simulating natural and anthropogenic effects on thermal regimes, which is integral for the sustainable management of freshwater systems.
Methods in Stream Ecology: Third Edition, Volume 1, 20 February 2017,