Study

Evaluating the effects of riparian restoration on a temperate river-system using standardized habitat survey

  • Published source details Clews E., Vaughan I.P. & Ormerod S.J. (2010) Evaluating the effects of riparian restoration on a temperate river-system using standardized habitat survey. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 20, S96-S104.

Summary

Action: Control problematic riparian plants

A replicated, site comparison study in 2004 of 66 stream reaches in south Wales, UK (Clews et al. 2010) found that thinning/coppicing riparian trees (along with fencing the riparian area to exclude livestock) increased the abundance of filamentous algae, but had no significant effect on the abundance of other channel vegetation. Thinned/fenced reaches contained more filamentous algae than reaches that remained fully forested/unfenced (data reported as scores from a graphical analysis). The abundance of other vegetation within the channel (a mixture of submerged, floating and emergent macrophytes) did not significantly differ between treatments (data not reported). Methods: In July and August 2004, vegetation was surveyed along 66 stream reaches (each 500 m long), along 21 tributaries of the River Wye or nearby rivers. The occurrence and extent of vegetation within the channel was recorded at 50-m intervals. Thirty reaches (along nine streams) had been subjected to “riparian habitat management” between 1998 and 2003: bank-side deciduous trees had been thinned and coppiced, and a 1–3 m wide strip of riverbank had been fenced to exclude livestock. The study does not distinguish between the effects of these interventions. Thirty-six reaches (along 12 streams) were selected in 2004 to represent habitats similar to those along managed streams before intervention.

 

 

Action: Exclude or remove livestock from riparian areas

A replicated, site comparison study in 2004 of 66 stream reaches in south Wales, UK (Clews et al. 2010) found that fencing the riparian area to exclude livestock (along with thinning/coppicing riparian trees) increased the abundance of filamentous algae, but had no significant effect on the abundance of other channel vegetation. Thinned/fenced reaches contained more filamentous algae than reaches that remained fully forested/unfenced (data reported as scores from a graphical analysis). The abundance of other vegetation within the channel (a mixture of submerged, floating and emergent macrophytes) did not significantly differ between treatments (data not reported). Methods: In July and August 2004, vegetation was surveyed along 66 stream reaches (each 500 m long), along 21 tributaries of the River Wye or nearby rivers. The occurrence and extent of vegetation within the channel was recorded at 50-m intervals. Thirty reaches (along nine streams) had been subjected to “riparian habitat management” between 1998 and 2003: a 1–3 m wide strip of riverbank had been fenced to exclude livestock, and bank-side deciduous trees had been thinned and coppiced. The study does not distinguish between the effects of these interventions. Thirty-six reaches (along 12 streams) were selected in 2004 to represent habitats similar to those along managed streams before intervention.

Output references
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