The Effects of Stream Restoration on Woody Riparian Vegetation in the Northwestern North Carolina Mountain Region: A Comparative Study of Restored, Degraded, and Reference Stream Sites

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Christopher Todd Kaase (Creator)
Institution
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site: http://www.library.appstate.edu/
Advisor
Gabrielle Katz

Abstract: Re-vegetation is nearly ubiquitous to stream restoration. This research examined the effects of restoration on woody riparian plant communities on temperate mountain headwater streams. We sampled 27 sites within restored, degraded, and reference groups. Data recorded were species richness, stem density, basal area, site and channel canopy cover, and channel width. Vegetation and channel structural metrics were analyzed with multivariate statistics, and community composition was examined using importance scores and ordination analysis. Restored and degraded sites had similar richness, density, basal area, canopy cover, and channel structure. Restored and reference sites had similar richness and density. Species dominance differed among all treatments. Degraded conditions were dominated by small-statured, opportunistic species. Restored sites were characterized by the shrub species used for re-vegetation and opportunistic species associated with degraded sites. At reference sites, typical regional riparian forest conditions were present. Overall species composition showed a distinct pattern for reference conditions that was different from both degraded and restored sites. Degraded and restored sites were not compositionally distinct from one another. These data suggest that these restoration projects do not yet resemble regional reference conditions. Long-term monitoring of riparian re-vegetation trajectories facilitates understanding of restoration outcomes and insures best management practice.

Additional Information

Publication
Thesis
Kaase, C.T. (2010). The Effects of Stream Restoration on Woody Riparian Vegetation in the Northwestern North Carolina Mountain Region: A Comparative Study of Restored, Degraded, and Reference Stream Sites. Unpublished master's thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2010
Keywords
Stream restoration, riparian vegetation, ecological monitoring, biogeography