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Vegetation for Restoring Ecosystems & Treating Stormwater Eve Brantley, Ph.D. – Auburn Kathy DeBusk - NCSU Karen Hall, NCSU Wendi Hartup - NCSU Frank Henning,

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Presentation on theme: "Vegetation for Restoring Ecosystems & Treating Stormwater Eve Brantley, Ph.D. – Auburn Kathy DeBusk - NCSU Karen Hall, NCSU Wendi Hartup - NCSU Frank Henning,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Vegetation for Restoring Ecosystems & Treating Stormwater Eve Brantley, Ph.D. – Auburn Kathy DeBusk - NCSU Karen Hall, NCSU Wendi Hartup - NCSU Frank Henning, EPA-SRWP Bill Hunt, Ph.D., PE, NCSU Fouad Jaber, Ph.D. – TAMU Greg Jennings, Ph.D., PE, NCSU Amanda Abnee Gumbert - UK Ashley Osborne – UK Mark Risse, Ph.D.,PE - UGA Calvin B. Sawyer, Ph.D – Clemson Dotty Woodson, Ed.D - TAMU Mitch Woodward - NCSU Jason Wright, NCSU Learning Center Website -

2 Watersheds, Water Quality, and Vegetation (So many functions, so little time) Eve Brantley, PhD Department of Agronomy and Soils Auburn University, AL Alabama Cooperative Extension System

3 Overview Watershed Vegetation and Streamside Forests Introduction to Watersheds Changing Hydrology Vegetation and Ecosystem Services Invaders Know the rules

4 Meet Your Watershed

5 Watersheds are the platforms A Watershed is an area of land that drains to a single outlet. Center for Watershed Protection

6 Stream Corridor Restoration: Principles, Processes, and Practices Federal Interagency Stream Restoration Working Group.

7 Infiltration and Runoff Surface runoff occurs when rainfall intensity exceeds infiltration capacity. Stream Corridor Restoration: Principles, Processes, and Practices Federal Interagency Stream Restoration Working Group.

8 Stream Order From Stream Corridor Restoration: Principles, Processes, and Practices Stream Order

9 From Stream Corridor Restoration: Principles, Processes, and Practices

10 Stream Order From Stream Corridor Restoration: Principles, Processes, and Practices

11 Stream Orders 1 st – 3 rd Orders = Headwaters and smaller streams 4 th – 6 th Orders = Mid-size rivers > 6 th Order = Large rivers

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13 Ecosystem Services – Floodwater storage / retention – Pollutant transformation – Sediment storage – Groundwater recharge – Stream channel stabilization – Habitat

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15 Single identifiable source of pollution – Wastewater treatment plant – Industry Usually permitted Point Source Courtesy NEMO, Univ. of CT

16 Polluted Runoff is the #1 Water Quality Problem in the U.S.* Polluted Runoff is the #1 Water Quality Problem in the U.S.* * USEPA Courtesy NEMO, Univ. of CT Comes from many different sources – Not one person (or animal) to blame Caused by rainfall or snowmelt moving over and through the ground

17 Land Use Existing, past, and future land use are key factors to current and future water quality and quantity Different land uses have different impacts on water quality Land Use examples: Urban Suburban Transitional Agriculture Forest / Silviculture

18 Urban Land Heavy metals Oil Grease Toxic chemicals Dr. Mimi Fearn, USA

19 Suburban Land Fertilizers Herbicides Pet Waste Washington Dept of Ecology, King County

20 Transitional Land Sediment

21 Agricultural / Rural Land Fertilizer Sediment Pathogens from untreated animal waste

22 Forest / Silviculture Sediment Pathogens (wildlife)

23 Current and Past Legacies Arthur Rothstein, WPA

24 Development Impacts on the Water Cycle 50% 10% 15% 55% Courtesy NEMO, Univ. of CT

25 Impervious Surfaces Materials like cement, asphalt, roofing, and compacted soil that prevent percolation of runoff into the ground. Courtesy NEMO, Univ. of CT

26 Changing Hydrology

27 In Urban Areas – Water arrives at streams faster – Greater amounts of water – Transporting lots of pollutants More Runoff Arriving Faster Courtesy NEMO, Univ. of CT

28 Changing Hydrology

29 What are we losing? Ecosystem Services Shift in the hydrologic cycle – potential reduction in infiltration, evapotranspiration, and storage – Modification of streams – Decrease in groundwater recharge – Increased flooding – Decreased pollutant transformation – Increased erosion – Degradation of habitat Picture Credit Dan Ballard

30 Impervious surfaces have been linked to degradation of stream water quality and habitat quality Stream Condition Related to Impervious Surface Urban Drainage Network Good Fair Poor Impaired Protected Degraded From Schueler, 2002

31 Which is healthier?

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34 What were the unhealthy streams missing?

35 TREES! Natural Habitats Good Water Quality Stream Corridor Restoration: Principles, Processes, and Practices, 10/98, by the Federal Interagency Stream Restoration Working Group (FISRWG)."

36 What Should We Do? Resource Based Planning for Growth Stormwater Management Urban Forest Enhancement Streamside Forest Protection and Restoration

37 How does watershed vegetation influence ecosystem health?

38 Watershed Vegetation Shading Temperature Food sources for aquatic animals Woody debris Bank stability Filtering nutrients and sediments Wildlife Corridor

39 Shading-Temperature

40 Cool it. Warmer water holds less dissolved oxygen than cooler waters

41 Cool it. Warmer water increases metabolic rate of aquatic animals

42 Cool it. No shade means more stress.

43 Food sources for aquatic animals Aquatic macroinvertebrates (aka critters) Feeding Groups – Shredders – Filter Feeders – Grazers – Predators Some Photos by M. Clapp

44 Food Source

45 ShredderFilter Feeder Coarse particulate organic matter Fine particulate organic matter

46 Large woody debris

47 aka logs Habitat diversity (structure) Flow diversity Large woody debris

48 Filtering nutrients and sediments

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50 Pollutant Processing University of MN SULIS Leaves Intercept rainfall Stems Slow overland flow Roots and soil microbes Transform pollutants

51 Bank stability – Erosion Minimization

52 Bank stability

53 Erosion Minimization ROOTS! STEMS!

54 Stable banks and roots provide habitat Undercut bank Roots in water

55 Habitat and Wildlife Corridors

56 Streamside Vegetation Shading Temperature Food sources for aquatic animals Woody debris Bank stability Filtering nutrients and sediments Wildlife Corridor

57 Invasive, Nonnative Plants

58 Kudzu Chinese privet Japanese Honeysuckle Japanese Climbing Fern Stilt Grass (Microstegium) Wisteria Cogon Grass Invasive, Nonnative Plants

59 Remove and replace with native vegetation Invasive, Nonnative Plants

60 Remove and replace with native vegetation Low habitat value Invasive, Nonnative Plants

61 Remove and replace with native vegetation Low habitat value May not be providing erosion control Invasive, Nonnative Plants

62 Remove and replace with native vegetation Low habitat value May not be providing erosion control May alter processes like native plant regeneration, decomposition, and nutrient cycling Invasive, Nonnative Plants

63 Remove and replace with native vegetation Low habitat value May not be providing erosion control May alter processes like native plant regeneration, decomposition, and nutrient cycling Streams act as watershed conveyer belts Invasive, Nonnative Plants

64 Invasive removal Physical removal Foliar Application Basal spray Cut and paint

65 Invasive, Nonnative Resources Southeast Invasive Pest Plant Council Let me help you get started: – Privet Pull – Mimosa Maim – Kudzu Kill – Honeysuckle Hound

66 Streamside Forest Width Depends on your goals – Temperature Control – Streambank Stability – Minimize Human / Livestock Impacts – Pollutant Removal – Wildlife Habitat

67 Streamside Forest Width Depends on regulations – Buffer Ordinances

68 Rupprecht, et al. Riparian and Wetland Buffers for Water-Quality Protection, Stormwater, November-December 2009

69 Get to know your buffer rules Local or State – What is minimum width? – What are allowable disturbances?

70 Watershed Vegetation Shading Temperature Food sources for aquatic animals Woody debris Bank stability Filtering nutrients and sediments Wildlife Corridor

71 Please Complete the Program Evaluation! Stream Vegetation Learning Center


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