Browsing All Posts filed under »land use«

Planting vegetation to stop stream bank erosion: where’s the evidence?

June 19, 2017

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Increased rates of stream bank erosion and sediment movement in disturbed catchments have been attributed to changes in catchment hydrology caused by land clearing, channel modification, the trampling activities of livestock and the removal of riparian vegetation. Given that these effects are human-induced, it’s commonly assumed that they can also be reversed by human intervention, […]

Advantages of rough wetland designs

June 1, 2016

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In natural wetlands, the unevenness of the ground creates variation in environmental factors such as soil moisture and temperature, and this variability is a positive influence on the range of plant species that are able to colonise the area. As they become established, plants such as sedges and rushes slowly create tussocks, which further increase […]

Remote surveillance: assessing water quality

June 1, 2016

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Remote sensing technology gives natural resource managers and landowners the ability to monitor environmental conditions in new and powerful ways. However, the remote assessment of water quality in lakes and ponds is complicated by wide variations in the inorganic and organic composition of suspended particles, which affect the optical environment, and the moderate- and medium-resolution […]

Green covers improve drainage channels

June 1, 2016

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In urban environments, the ubiquity of impervious surfaces increases rainfall runoff and the risk of flash flooding. These problems can be addressed by widening and deepening drainage canals, but usually at the risk of further habitat degradation. As a result, there ‘s increasing interest in low-impact environmentally-sensitive designs that simultaneously improve flood control and ecosystem […]

Wetlands are cool places

December 18, 2015

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A largely overlooked ecosystem service provided by wetlands is the cooling of surrounding landscapes. Most of the solar energy that strikes a wetland is used to evaporate water, a process that doesn’t increase the ambient temperature because energy is “hidden” as latent heat in the kinetic movement of water vapour molecules. The water vapour then […]

Do pollutants bar amphibians from stormwater ponds?

December 18, 2015

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Because of the complex array of ecologically threatening processes in urban environments, our understanding of the role that artificial ponds play in allowing aquatic populations to persist in towns and cities is quite limited. Together with green roofs, swales and stream buffers, stormwater ponds are key instruments in runoff management, but by retaining sediment as […]

Inequity creates a water crisis

December 18, 2015

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Lake Urmia, in western Iran, is a Ramsar-listed Biosphere Reserve and one of the world’s most significant salt lakes. Until recent times it had a length of 140 km. However, its size has been reduced by 90% as a result of forest destruction and short-sighted water policies. A recently-published case study of Lake Urmia offers […]