Study

Shoreline stabilization using riprap breakwaters on a Midwestern reservoir

  • Published source details Severson J.P., Nawrot J.R. & Eichholz M.W. (2009) Shoreline stabilization using riprap breakwaters on a Midwestern reservoir. Lake and Reservoir Management, 25, 208-216.

Summary

Action: Build barriers to protect vegetation from rising water levels and severe weather

A replicated, site comparison study in 1999–2005 in a reservoir in Illinois, USA (Severson et al. 2009) found that shorelines protected with breakwaters had greater macrophyte richness and cover of than unprotected shorelines. After 2–6 years, protected shorelines supported 75–88 macrophyte species, compared to only 12 on unprotected shorelines (statistical significance not assessed). Protected shorelines had greater macrophyte cover (42–70%) than unprotected shorelines (9%). Macrophyte cover also increased with time since breakwater construction (2 years: 42%; 4 years: 57%; 6 years: 70%). Methods: Between 1999 and 2003, roughly 2 km of breakwaters were constructed along highly eroding parts of the Lake Kinkaid shoreline. Breakwaters were made of limestone riprap, placed 2–13 m from the bank. Macrophytes were surveyed in August 2005, along 199 transects in shallow water (26–78 behind breakwaters of each age; 40 in highly eroding unprotected sites). Surveys certainly included submerged plants, and may have included emergent plants (not clearly reported).

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