Location: Soil Drainage Research
Title: Influence of Herbaceous Riparian Buffers on Channelized Headwater Streams in Central Ohio Authors
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 13, 2009
Publication Date: May 17, 2009
Citation: Smiley, P.C., King, K.W., Fausey, N.R. 2009. Influence of Herbaceous Riparian Buffers on Channelized Headwater Streams in Central Ohio. Meeting Abstract. Paper No. 92. Technical Abstract: Herbaceous riparian buffers are a widely used conservation practice in the United States for reducing nutrient, pesticide, and sediment loadings in agricultural streams. The importance of forested riparian buffers for headwater streams has been documented, but the ecological impacts of herbaceous riparian buffers have not been evaluated. We evaluated the influence of herbaceous riparian buffers on riparian habitat, geomorphology, instream habitat, water chemistry, and fish communities in channelized headwater streams in the Upper Big Walnut Creek, Ohio. Beginning in 2006 we sampled physical habitat, water chemistry, and fishes from three channelized streams without buffers, three channelized streams with buffers, and two unchannelized streams with forested riparian zones. Herbaceous riparian buffers were installed between 2003 and 2005 through the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program. Preliminary analysis of the first two years of data observed that channelized streams with buffers had greater riparian widths (P < 0.05) and less springtime total nitrogen (P < 0.05) than channelized streams without buffers. No differences in geomorphology, instream habitat, and fish community variables occurred. Our preliminary results suggest that within the first four years after installation herbaceous riparian buffers have a limited influence on physical habitat, water chemistry, and fishes within channelized headwater streams in Ohio.