Accession Number : ADA316934

Title :   Environmental Value of Riparian Vegetation.

Descriptive Note : Final rept.,

Corporate Author : ARMY ENGINEER WATERWAYS EXPERIMENT STATION VICKSBURG MS ENVIRONMENTAL LAB

Personal Author(s) : Davis, Mary M. ; Mitchell, Wilma A. ; Wakeley, James S. ; Fischenich, J. C. ; Craft, Monica M.

PDF Url : ADA316934

Report Date : SEP 1996

Pagination or Media Count : 183

Abstract : ISSUE: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers develops- river projects across the country that have potential impacts on the vegetation in areas adjacent to the river, called riparian corridors. As part of the project review process, the impact of the proposed project on the environment must be evaluated. Information about the environmental value of riparian vegetation is difficult to access, because it is diffuse in the literature. RESEARCH OBJECTIVE: The objective of this research is to review the literature for information pertinent to assessing the environmental value of riparian vegetation. SUMMARY: Vegetation contributes greatly to the hydraulic, hydrologic, water quality, and life support functions commonly performed in riparian corridors. The resistance to flow by vegetation reduces flow velocity and the energy of flowing water that erodes shorelines and carries suspended sediments. Bank materials are bound and supported by roots. Vegetated watersheds help to stabilize baseflow rates by increasing infiltration and permeability of soils. The result is that vegetation helps to stabilize stream morphology and hydrology and attenuate floods. In addition, suspended solids and dissolved chemicals and nutrients in river water are reduced proportionately with residence time in vegetated floodplain. Riparian vegetation provides food, refuge, and nesting areas for a diverse array of terrestrial and aquatic fauna. Losses of riparian vegetation can lead, therefore, to a destabilization of stream morphology, alteration of hydrology, degraded water quality, and reductions in many types of fish and wildlife.

Descriptors :   *WATER FLOW, *HYDROLOGY, *ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT, *VEGETATION, *WATER QUALITY, VELOCITY, LOGISTICS SUPPORT, PERMEABILITY, IMPACT, CHEMICALS, MORPHOLOGY, ENERGY, ARRAYS, SOLIDS, NUTRIENTS, SOILS, SUSPENDED SEDIMENTS, FLOW RATE, ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS, ANIMALS, LOSSES, RIVERS, WATERSHEDS, FLOODS, BANKS(WATERWAYS), LIFE SUPPORT SYSTEMS, FOOD, WILDLIFE, DISSOLVING, STREAMS, SHORES, DISPERSIONS.

Subject Categories : Biology
      Hydrology, Limnology and Potamology
      Water Pollution and Control

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE