Browsing All Posts filed under »riparian«

How land plants control water plants

July 5, 2018


While terrestrial ecosystems rely on rainfall infiltration for their water supply, streamside ecosystems rely on the accumulation of surface and subsurface runoff in the riparian zone and the channel network.  Rainfall that manages to percolate through the soil profile recharges aquifers, and these  sustain streamflow and riparian and aquatic ecosystems during dry periods.  Focussing on […]

Successful stream restoration can take decades

July 5, 2018


Although assessments of the success of stream restoration projects depend on post-restoration monitoring, in most cases the monitoring period ends long before the system reaches full functional maturity.   Given this situation, it can be helpful to refer to performance curves that forecast how stream restoration projects will perform over time.  American environmental scientists set out […]

Surveying river birds

July 5, 2018


River birds are effective ecological indicators because they’re linked to river and riparian food webs in many  ways and are easily observed.  Boat-based surveys of river birds pose disturbance issues and can be difficult during periods of high or low flow, while transect-based surveys can be compromised by lack of access to private land.  Researchers […]

Riparian roots help streams breathe

December 21, 2017

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In aquatic systems, especially those with abundant plants, dissolved oxygen concentrations often show strong daily fluctuations because there’s a net input of oxygen from photosynthesis during the day but a net loss of oxygen due to   respiration at night.  When researchers working on a small tropical stream in São Paulo State, Brazil recorded this pattern […]

Deforestation means defishation

December 21, 2017

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The impacts of tropical deforestation on terrestrial biodiversity are well known but only a few studies have considered the impacts of deforestation on freshwater systems.  Such effects are likely to be significant, given the importance of riparian vegetation as a source of nutrients and the high abundances of fish in tropical floodplain forests.  In a […]

Restoration and invertebrates: Reappraising stream condition indicators

September 25, 2017

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In degraded rivers and stream systems, the replanting of riparian vegetation is a common restoration activity, partly because increases in shading, nutrient interception and litter fall are expected to provide food and habitat benefits for aquatic communities. Changed habitat conditions should be reflected in indices of stream condition, such as those based on macroinvertebrate richness. […]

Coarse, shallow and wooden… but useful nonetheless

June 19, 2017

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Coarse woody debris (CWD) derived from shoreline trees provides an important, spatially complex habitat and a food source for lake-dwelling organisms. Here are some interesting facts about lake CWD, taken from a recent review paper: In the absence of the physical action of flowing water, CWD breaks down more slowly in lakes than in streams. […]