US Army Corps of Engineers
Portland District Website

Overview of controlling factor: Temperature

Temperature graphicTemperature is a measure that expresses the temporal and spatial dynamics of the thermal energy content of the air and water. Temperature is important for the physiology of plants and animals as well as chemical processes.

The figure at bottom left shows temperature in the estuary in August 2002 (Baptista et al. 2003).

The figure at bottom right shows eelgrass productivity as affected by temperature (Thom, unpublished data).

Stressors that affect temperature:

  • Dredging
  • Extreme climatic events
  • Link to graphic showing net productivity versus temperature (Celsius)Filling
  • Flow regulation
  • Logging
  • Marinas and overwater structures
  • Urbanization
  • Volcanic activity
  • Wastewater discharges
  • Water diversion

Ecosystem structures that are affected by temperature:

  • Plankton
  • Scrub-shrub forest emergent marsh
  • Mud / sand flats
  • Submerged aquatic vegetation
  • Shallow slope
  • Deep channel

Interactions and equations:

  • Water temperature vs. sub-aquatic vegetation density

Contact information

Ronald Thom, Ph.D

Marine Research Operations, PNNL
1529 W. Sequim Bay Rd.
Sequim, WA 98382