A long-term phytometer study to evaluate stream restoration along climate and discharge gradients
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Simplified channel morphology caused by the channelization of rivers to facilitatetimber floating resulted in a less variable flow regime with faster flows in the mainchannel. Restoration measures aiming to counteract these impacts, such as the returnof boulders to the channel and the reconnection of the riparian zone with instreamhabitats, are expected to create a higher, more natural hydrological variability andenhance riparian site quality. In this study, we analysed the number and duration offlooding events at channelized and restored river reaches with an indirect methodusing diurnal temperature oscillation. In a long-term field experiment, we evaluatedthe effect of flooding regime on riparian plant performance by measuring survival andbiomass increment of two transplanted phytometer species, a grass (Molinia caerulea)and a forb (Filipendula ulmaria). We found that flow variability was significantlyhigher at restored compared to channelized sites in medium-sized and large streams,particularly during summer months. Phytometer performance was better at restoredsites and positively correlated with summer flooding, indicating that a more variableflow after restoration improved site conditions for phytometer growth. This may notonly result from the higher heterogeneity in channel morphology caused by thereturned boulders, but can probably also be attributed to a lower flow velocity atrestored sites. Flood variables were more often correlated with other abiotic variablesat restored than at channelized sites, which points to an increased land-waterconnectivity as a result of restoration.
bioassay; channelization; environmental disturbance; Filipendula ulmaria;
Research subject Ecological Botany
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-67643OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-67643DiVA: diva2:619500