Biodiversity in Riparian Communities and Watershed Management

by Anthony J. Krzysik, US Army Construction Engineering, Research Lab, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Watershed Planning and Analysis in Action


Riparian communities are demonstrated to be regional centers of biodiversity and biomass. Examples are taken primarily from bird and lizard communities in the Southwest, since these vertebrates represent excellent models and monitors of ecosystem structural and functional integrity on the basis of trophic and niche structure considerations. Watershed management and landuse decisions have dramatically altered the structure of riparian zones to the detriment of ecological richness and complexity. This is illustrated by the transformation of cottonwood-willow communities to saltcedar as upstream impoundments and flood control structures have been added to the landscape.

Subject Headings: Ecosystems | Watersheds | Hydraulic structures | Water pollution | Water quality | Soil pollution | Biomass | Birds

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