Effects of Riparian Areas, Stream Order, and Land Use Disturbance on Watershed‐Scale Habitat Potential: An Ecohydrologic Approach to Policy

Effects of Riparian Areas, Stream Order, and Land Use Disturbance on Watershed‐Scale Habitat... Abstract: Spatio‐temporal linkages between hydrologic and ecologic dimensions of watersheds play a critical role in conservation policies. Habitat potential is influenced by variation along longitudinal and lateral gradients and land use disturbance. An assessment of these influences provides critical information for protecting watershed ecosystems and in making spatially explicit, conservation decisions. We use an ecohydrologic approach that focuses on interface between hydrological and ecological processes. This study focuses on changes in watershed habitat potentials along lateral (riparian), and longitudinal (stream order) dimensions and disturbance (land use). The habitat potentials were evaluated for amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds in the Westfield River Watershed of Massachusetts using geographic information systems and multivariate analysis. We use a polynomial model to study nonlinear effects using robust regression. Various spatial policies were modeled and evaluated for influence on species diversity. All habitat potentials showed a strong influence along spatial dimensions and disturbance. The habitat potential for all vertebrate groups studied decreased as the distance from the riparian zone increased. Headwaters and lower order subwatersheds had higher levels of species diversity compared to higher order subwatersheds. It was observed that locations with the least disturbance also had higher habitat potential. The study identifies three policy criteria that could be used to identify critical areas within a watershed to conserve habitat suitable for various species through management and restoration activities. A spatially variable policy that is based on stream order, riparian distance, and land use can be used to maximize watershed ecological benefits. Wider riparian zones with variable widths, protection of headwaters and lower order subwatersheds, and minimizing disturbance in riparian and headwater areas can be used in watershed policy. These management objectives could be achieved using targeted economic incentives, best management practices, zoning laws, and educational programs using a watershed perspective. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the American Water Resources Association Wiley

Effects of Riparian Areas, Stream Order, and Land Use Disturbance on Watershed‐Scale Habitat Potential: An Ecohydrologic Approach to Policy

Loading next page...
 
/lp/wiley/effects-of-riparian-areas-stream-order-and-land-use-disturbance-on-Qm7E7FDefo
Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
1093-474X
eISSN
1752-1688
D.O.I.
10.1111/j.1752-1688.2007.00102.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract: Spatio‐temporal linkages between hydrologic and ecologic dimensions of watersheds play a critical role in conservation policies. Habitat potential is influenced by variation along longitudinal and lateral gradients and land use disturbance. An assessment of these influences provides critical information for protecting watershed ecosystems and in making spatially explicit, conservation decisions. We use an ecohydrologic approach that focuses on interface between hydrological and ecological processes. This study focuses on changes in watershed habitat potentials along lateral (riparian), and longitudinal (stream order) dimensions and disturbance (land use). The habitat potentials were evaluated for amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds in the Westfield River Watershed of Massachusetts using geographic information systems and multivariate analysis. We use a polynomial model to study nonlinear effects using robust regression. Various spatial policies were modeled and evaluated for influence on species diversity. All habitat potentials showed a strong influence along spatial dimensions and disturbance. The habitat potential for all vertebrate groups studied decreased as the distance from the riparian zone increased. Headwaters and lower order subwatersheds had higher levels of species diversity compared to higher order subwatersheds. It was observed that locations with the least disturbance also had higher habitat potential. The study identifies three policy criteria that could be used to identify critical areas within a watershed to conserve habitat suitable for various species through management and restoration activities. A spatially variable policy that is based on stream order, riparian distance, and land use can be used to maximize watershed ecological benefits. Wider riparian zones with variable widths, protection of headwaters and lower order subwatersheds, and minimizing disturbance in riparian and headwater areas can be used in watershed policy. These management objectives could be achieved using targeted economic incentives, best management practices, zoning laws, and educational programs using a watershed perspective.

Journal

Journal of the American Water Resources AssociationWiley

Published: Dec 1, 2007

References

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create folders to
organize your research

Export folders, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off