Contents 1 Characteristics 2 Roles and functions 3 Role in logging 4 Vegetation 4.1 North America 4.1.1 Water's edge 4.1.2 Inundated riparian zone 4.1.3 Western 4.2 Asia 4.3 Australia 4.4 Central Europe 5 Repair and restoration 6 See also 7 References 8 Further reading 9 External links


Characteristics[edit] Riparian zones may be natural or engineered for soil stabilization or restoration. These zones are important natural biofilters, protecting aquatic environments from excessive sedimentation, polluted surface runoff and erosion. They supply shelter and food for many aquatic animals and shade that limits stream temperature change. When riparian zones are damaged by construction, agriculture or silviculture, biological restoration can take place, usually by human intervention in erosion control and revegetation. If the area adjacent to a watercourse has standing water or saturated soil for as long as a season, it is normally termed a wetland because of its hydric soil characteristics. Because of their prominent role in supporting a diversity of species, riparian zones are often the subject of national protection in a Biodiversity Action Plan. These are also known as a "Plant or Vegetation Waste Buffer". Research shows that riparian zones are instrumental in water quality improvement for both surface runoff and water flowing into streams through subsurface or groundwater flow. Riparian zones can play a role in lowering nitrate contamination in surface runoff, such as manure and other fertilizers from agricultural fields, that would otherwise damage ecosystems and human health. Particularly, the attenuation of nitrate or denitrification of the nitrates from fertilizer in this buffer zone is important. The use of wetland riparian zones shows a particularly high rate of removal of nitrate entering a stream and thus has a place in agricultural management.


Roles and functions[edit] Thick riparian vegetation along the Pisuerga River in Spain Riparian zones dissipate stream energy. The meandering curves of a river, combined with vegetation and root systems, slow the flow of water, which reduces soil erosion and flood damage. Sediment is trapped, reducing suspended solids to create less turbid water, replenish soils, and build stream banks. Pollutants are filtered from surface runoff, enhancing water quality via biofiltration. The riparian zones also provide wildlife habitat, increased biodiversity, and wildlife corridors, enabling aquatic and riparian organisms to move along river systems avoiding isolated communities. Riparian vegetation can also provide forage for wildlife and livestock. They provide native landscape irrigation by extending seasonal or perennial flows of water. Nutrients from terrestrial vegetation (e.g. plant litter and insect drop) are transferred to aquatic food webs. The vegetation surrounding the stream helps to shade the water, mitigating water temperature changes. The vegetation also contributes wood debris to streams, which is important to maintaining geomorphology. From a social aspect, riparian zones contribute to nearby property values through amenity and views, and they improve enjoyment for footpaths and bikeways through supporting foreshoreway networks. Space is created for riparian sports such as fishing, swimming and launching for vessels and paddlecraft. The riparian zone acts as a sacrificial erosion buffer to absorb impacts of factors including climate change, increased runoff from urbanisation and increased boatwake without damaging structures located behind a setback zone.


Role in logging[edit] The protection of riparian zones is often a consideration in logging operations. The undisturbed soil, soil cover, and vegetation provide shade, plant litter, and woody material, and reduce the delivery of soil eroded from the harvested area. Factors such as soil types and root structures, climatic conditions and vegetative cover determine the effectiveness of riparian buffering.


Vegetation[edit] Riparian zone along Trout Creek in the Trout Creek Mountains, part of the Burns Bureau of Land Management District in southeastern Oregon. The creek provides critical habitat for trout. The assortment of riparian zone trees varies from those of wetlands and typically consists of plants that are either emergent aquatic plants, or herbs, trees and shrubs that thrive in proximity to water. North America[edit] Water's edge[edit] Herbaceous Perennial: Peltandra virginica – Arrow Arum Sagittaria lancifolia – Arrowhead Carex stricta – Tussock Sedge Iris virginica – Southern Blue Flag Iris Inundated riparian zone[edit] Herbaceous Perennial:[1][unreliable source?] Sagittaria latifolia – Duck Potato Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani – Softstem Bulrush Scirpus americanus – Three-square Bulrush Eleocharis quadrangulata – Square-stem Spikerush Eleocharis obtusa – Spikerush Western[edit] In western North America and the Pacific coast, the riparian vegetation includes: Riparian trees[2] Sequoia sempervirens – Coast Redwood Thuja plicata – Western Redcedar Abies grandis – Grand Fir Picea sitchensis – Sitka Spruce Chamaecyparis lawsoniana – Port Orford-cedar Taxus brevifolia – Pacific Yew Populus fremontii – Fremont Cottonwood Populus trichocarpa – Black Cottonwood Platanus racemosa – California Sycamore Alnus rhombifolia – White Alder Alnus rubra – Red Alder Acer macrophyllum – Big-leaf Maple Fraxinus latifolia – Oregon ash Prunus emarginata – Bitter Cherry Salix lasiolepis – Arroyo Willow Salix lucida – Pacific Willow Quercus agrifolia – Coast live oak Quercus garryana – Garry oak Populus tremuloides – Quaking Aspen Umbellularia californica – California Bay Laurel Cornus nuttallii – Pacific Dogwood Riparian shrubs[2] Acer circinatum – Vine Maple Ribes spp. – Gooseberies and Currants Rosa pisocarpa – Swamp Rose or Cluster Rose Symphoricarpos albus – Snowberry Spiraea douglasii – Douglas spirea Rubus spp. – Blackberries, Raspberries, Thimbleberry, Salmonberry Rhododendron occidentale – Western Azalea Oplopanax horridus – Devil's Club Oemleria cerasiformis – Indian Plum, Osoberry Lonicera involucrata – Twinberry Cornus stolonifera – Red-osier Dogwood Salix spp. – Willows Other plants Polypodium – Polypody Ferns Polystichum – Sword Ferns Woodwardia – Giant Chain Ferns Pteridium – Goldback Ferns Dryopteris – Wood Ferns Adiantum – Maidenhair Ferns Carex spp. – Sedges Juncus spp. – Rushes Festuca californica – California Fescue bunchgrass Leymus condensatus – Giant Wildrye bunchgrass Melica californica – California Melic bunchgrass Mimulus spp. – Monkeyflower and varieties Aquilegia spp. – Columbine Asia[edit] In Asia there are different types of riparian vegetation, but the interactions between hydrology and ecology are similar as occurs in other geographic areas.[3] Carex spp. – Sedges Juncus spp. – Rushes Australia[edit] Typical riparian vegetation in Temperate New South Wales, Australia include: Acacia melanoxylon – Blackwood Acacia pravissima – Ovens Wattle Acacia rubida – Red Stem Wattle Bursaria lasiophylla – Blackthorn Callistemon citrinus – Crimson Bottlebrush Callistemon sieberi – River Bottlebrush Casuarina cunninghamiana – River She-Oak Eucalyptus bridgesiana – Apple Box Eucalyptus camaldulensis – River Red Gum Eucalyptus melliodora – Yellow Box Eucalyptus viminalis – Manna Gum Kunzea ericoides – Burgan Leptospermum obovatum – River Tea-Tree Melaleuca ericifolia – Swamp Paperbark Central Europe[edit] Typical riparian zone trees in Central Europe include: Acer campestre – Field Maple Acer pseudoplatanus – Sycamore Maple Alnus glutinosa – Black Alder Carpinus betulus – European Hornbeam Fraxinus excelsior – European Ash Juglans regia – Persian Walnut Malus sylvestris – European Wild Apple Populus alba – White Poplar Populus nigra – Black Poplar Quercus robur – Pedunculate Oak Salix alba – White Willow Salix fragilis – Crack Willow Tilia cordata – Small-leaved Lime Ulmus laevis – European White Elm Ulmus minor – Field Elm


Repair and restoration[edit] Land clearing followed by floods can quickly erode a riverbank, taking valuable grasses and soils downstream, and later allowing the sun to bake the land dry. Natural Sequence Farming techniques have been used in the Upper Hunter Valley of New South Wales, Australia, in an attempt to rapidly restore eroded farms to optimum productivity.[citation needed] The Natural Sequence Farming technique involves placing obstacles in the water's pathway to lessen the energy of a flood, and help the water to deposit soil and seep into the flood zone. Another technique is to quickly establish ecological succession by encouraging fast-growing plants such as "weeds" (pioneer species) to grow. These may spread along the watercourse and cause environmental degradation but may stabilize the soil, place carbon into the ground, and protect the land from drying. The weeds will improve the streambeds so that trees and grasses can return, and later ideally replace the weeds. There are several other techniques used by government and non-government agencies to address riparian and streambed degradation, ranging from the installation of bed control structures such as log sills to the use of pin groynes or rock emplacement. Cottonwood Creek riparian area in southeastern Oregon before restoration, 1988 Cottonwood Creek riparian area during recovery, 2000 Cottonwood Creek riparian area after restoration, 2002


See also[edit] Wetlands portal Environment portal Ecology portal Earth sciences portal Sustainable development portal Accropode Aquatic ecosystem Bioswale Bosque Constructed wetland Endorheic basin Floodplain Flood meadow Gallery forest Green belt Marsh Outwelling Riprap Riparian water rights Riparian zone restoration Swamp forest Várzea forest Vernal pool Water meadow Wetland


References[edit] ^ "List of trees and plants". Archived from the original (xls) on July 18, 2011. Retrieved 2010-09-29.  ^ a b Cooke, Sarah Spear (1997). A Field Guide to the Common Wetland Plants of Western Washington and Northwestern Oregon. Seattle, Washington: Seattle Audubon Society. ISBN 0-914516-11-6.  ^ "Riparian Vegetation Along the Middle and Lower Zones of the Chalakkudy River, Kerala, India" (PDF). Kerala Research Programme Centre for Development Studies. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-03-19. Retrieved 2009-10-02. 


Further reading[edit] Nakasone, H.; Kuroda, H.; Kato, T.; Tabuchi, T. (2003). "Nitrogen removal from water containing high nitrate nitrogen in a paddy field (wetland)". Water Science and Technology. 48 (10): 209–216.  Mengis, M.; Schif, S. L.; Harris, M.; English, M. C.; Aravena, R.; Elgood, R. J.; MacLean, A. (1999). "Multiple Geochemical and Isotopic Approaches for Assessing Ground Water NO3− Elimination in a Riparian Zone". Ground Water. 37 (3): 448–457. doi:10.1111/j.1745-6584.1999.tb01124.x.  Parkyn, Stephanie. (2004). Review of Riparian Buffer Zone Effectiveness. Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (New Zealand), www.maf.govt.nz/publications. Tang, C.; Azuma, K.; Iwami, Y.; Ohji, B.; Sakura, Y. (2004). "Nitrate behaviour in the groundwater of a headwater wetland, Chiba, Japan". Hydrological Processes. 18 (16): 3159–3168. Bibcode:2004HyPr...18.3159T. doi:10.1002/hyp.5755.  Riparian Bibliography, National Agroforestry Center Conservation Buffer Design Guidelines


External links[edit] Wikimedia Commons has media related to Riparian forests. Riparian Forest Buffers, National Agroforestry Center Dissertation on riparian vegetation of Chalakudy River Restoration strategies for riparian habitats, U.S. military National Riparian Service Team, Bureau of Land Management Riparian Habitat Restoration in the Las Vegas Wash Red River Basin Riparian Project Riparian Forest Buffers, Kansas State University The short film Agroforestry Practices – Riparian Forest Buffers (2004) is available for free download at the Internet Archive v t e River morphology Large-scale features Drainage basin Drainage system (geomorphology) Estuary Strahler number (stream order) River valley River delta River sinuosity Alluvial rivers Anabranch Avulsion (river) Bar (river morphology) Braided river Channel pattern Cut bank Floodplain Meander Meander cutoff Mouth bar Oxbow lake Point bar Riffle Rapids Riparian zone River bifurcation River channel migration River mouth Slip-off slope Stream pool Thalweg Bedrock river Canyon Knickpoint Plunge pool Bedforms Ait Antidune Dune Current ripple Regional processes Aggradation Base level Degradation (geology) Erosion and tectonics River rejuvenation Mechanics Deposition (geology) Water erosion Exner equation Hack's law Helicoidal flow Playfair's law Sediment transport Category Portal v t e Aquatic ecosystem topics Aquatic ecosystems – general and freshwater components General Acoustic ecology Adaptation Agent-based models Algal bloom Anoxic waters Aquatic animals (Insects Mammals) Aquatic plants Aquatic science Benthos Biodiversity research Bioluminescence Biomass Biomonitoring Cascade effect Colored dissolved organic matter Camouflage and mimicry Dead zone Ecohydrology Ecosystems Eutrophication Fisheries science Food chain Food web GIS and aquatic science Hydrobiology Hypoxia Isotope analysis Microbial ecology Microbial food web Microbial loop Nekton Neuston Particle Pelagic zone Photic zone Phytoplankton Plankton Pleuston Predation Productivity Ramsar Convention Respiration Schooling Sediment trap Siltation Spawning Substrate Thermal pollution Toxicology Trophic level Water column Zooplankton More... 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