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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS & SERVICES RESULTING FROM PREVAILING & INNOVATIVE LAND USE & MNGMT PRACTICES WITHIN POORLY DRAINED MIDWEST LANDSCAPES

Location: Soil Drainage Research

Title: Characteristics of instream wood within channelized agricultural headwater streams in the Midwestern United States

Authors
item Smiley, Peter
item Gates, Eric -

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 23, 2012
Publication Date: December 22, 2013
Citation: Smiley, P.C., Gates, E. 2013. Characteristics of instream wood within channelized agricultural headwater streams in the Midwestern United States.Connecting People and Nature with Restoration. Abstract Book of the Fourth Midwest-Great Lakes SER Chapter Meeting. Midwest-Great Lakes SER Chapter, Indianapolis, Indiana. Meeting Abstract. pg 9.

Technical Abstract: Channelized agricultural headwater streams are a common feature within agricultural watersheds of the Midwestern United States. These small streams have been impacted by the physical and chemical habitat alterations incurred to facilitate agricultural drainage. Quantitative information on the instream wood characteristics within channelized agricultural headwater streams is needed to assist with designing stream restoration projects for these small streams. We conducted a literature review to quantify the amount of available information on instream wood within channelized agricultural headwater streams within the Midwestern United States. We also conducted a field study in twelve headwater streams within the Upper Big Walnut Creek watershed to determine if the amounts and types of instream wood differ between channelized and unchannelized agricultural headwater streams. Preliminary results from our literature review indicate that only a limited amount of information on instream wood characteristics is available from channelized agricultural headwater streams. Our field study quantified that the diversity of instream wood, density of instream wood, and density of large (i.e., > 1 m length and > 0.1 m diameter) log jams was greater in unchannelized than channelized streams. Channelized streams contained mostly small simple wood pieces, small branching wood pieces, and large overhanging woody vegetation. Unchannelized streams possessed mostly small simple wood pieces, large rootwads, and large log jams. Our results suggest that restoration designs for channelized agricultural headwater streams should use practices that increase the amount of instream wood and alter the proportion of different types of instream wood.

Last Modified: 8/22/2014
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