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Riparian Zone Habitat Assessment Vegetation and More.

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Presentation on theme: "Riparian Zone Habitat Assessment Vegetation and More."— Presentation transcript:

1 Riparian Zone Habitat Assessment Vegetation and More

2 What is “riparian vegetation”?  Plants growing on the streambank and adjoining floodplain  Plants in this area are influenced by the water from the stream

3 Riparian Zone

4 Riparian Vegetation Functions  Roots stabilize banks / reduce erosion  Provide structure or cover for fish  Taller vegetation provides shade  Organic food source for aquatic organisms Leaves Terrestrial insects

5 Riparian Vegetation Functions  Pollutant filtering  Fall into stream – large woody debris Shapes channel Substrate for biological activity

6 Relationship to Water Quality  Turbidity / Sediment  Phosphorus  Temperature (Shade)  Nutrient Uptake  Nutrient Release (Alder)

7 Two Ways to Assess a Riparian Zone Plant Presence  Habitat Quality  Actual Diversity  Invasive Species  Changes over time Riparian Assessment  Stability  Shade  Invasive Species  Large Wood Recruitment  Considers non- vegetative stable substrates

8 Riparian Assessment  Can be broken into 3 sections: a 100’ riparian transect perpendicular to the stream, a 100’ “greenline” transect along the stream, a riparian tree count performed in a 100 sq ft area along the stream

9 Greenline Transect 100ft X 5 ft FLOW Pool Gravel bar Riffle Zone 1 Zone 2 Zone 3 Riparian Transect 100ft X 10ft Starting point

10 Riparian Assessment  Total area = 100 ft x 100 ft (30 m 2 )  Instructions in feet and meters  Starting point is at beginning of first (downstream) habitat unit

11 Riparian Transect FLOW Pool Gravel bar Riffle Zone 1 Zone 2 Zone 3 Each zone is 10 meters (33 feet) long Total transect length = 30 meters (100 feet)

12 Riparian Transect STREAM Length 11 feet Width 10 feet Estimate % cover by % increments May have more or less than 100 feet of “riparian zone”

13 Johnson Creek 175 ft

14 Measure Slope Zone 1 Zone 2 Zone 3 Zone 1 Zone 2 5°5°55° 10°40°25°

15 Greenline Transect STREAM GREENLINE – the first strip of vegetation along the stream Length 11 feet Width 5 feet

16 Riparian Tree Count FLOW Pool Gravel bar Riffle Zone 1 Zone 2 Zone 3 Conifer Deciduous

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19 Diameter Circumference Diameter = Circumference  (approx. 3.14) Tree Size Class

20 What Does it Tell Us?  Riparian and Greenline Transects Extent and diversity of riparian zone Stability Invasive species  Riparian Tree Count Age-class diversity Large woody debris recruitment (old growth conifer, >35”, is MOST desirable)

21 Evaluation of recruitment  How many trees of varying size are present in the riparian zone?  How close/far are they from the water?  Over what time period might they become available?

22 Large Woody Debris


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