The role of adjacent vegetation on the recovery of riparian flora: Effect of upstream and upland vascular vegetation after stream restoration in a boreal catchment
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Restoration of streams that were formerly channelized for timber-floating has become increasingly common. Generally, this restoration returns boulders from riparian zones to streams, leading to wider, more heterogeneous channels with slower flows. The primary goal is to enhance fish populations, but riparian vegetation is also expected to be favoured. However, increases in floristic diversity have not been observed and reasons for this slow response are still unknown. One possible explanation might be the lack of colonist pools. I therefore investigated how surrounding plant compositions influence riparian recovery. The vascular plant flora was identified in riparian sites and in adjacent upstream riparian and upland sites. Four reach types were included: unchannelized, channelized, restored and demonstration restored. Species richness and floristic similarities among types of sites and reaches were compared. Correlations with upland and upstream channel slopes were made and the importance of variation in seed floating ability was tested. The results show that unchannelized reaches were floristically similar to their adjacent upstream riparian and upland sites, whereas channelized reaches showed more different floras. Restoration created a somewhat more homogeneous flora among the three site types and demonstration restored reaches were most similar to upstream sites. Soil moisture conditions (i.e. wetland vs. forest) in the uplands had stronger impacts on species similarities than upland or upstream channel slopes. I conclude that adjacent sites are important for floristic recovery of riparian reaches and that demonstration restoration is most advantageous for riparian recovery. I recommend protection of upland sites from forestry to facilitate recovery.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Channelization, demonstration restoration, species composition, species richness
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-108082OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-108082DiVA: diva2:851106
Master's Programme in Geoecology
ProjectsLocal- and landscape-scale effects on biodiversity after stream restoration