Submitted to: Proceedings of the Southern Agroforestry Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/19/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Riparian areas are streams and immediate adjacent land where soils tend to remain wet. Land management emphasizing economic production treats them as waste land in an open flow through ecosystem. However, riparian areas provide a number of benefits to man including productive fish and wildlife habitat, stream temperature moderation and protection of water quality. The ecosystem they are a part of is a closed system with respect to matter Managing riparian areas requires an understanding of how a riparian area and its ecosystem are self sustaining when not disrupted by man. The rate, form and amount of matter transported between and contained within the four major environmental compartments of the ecosystem determine if a riparian area and the ecosystem are self sustaining. Self perpetuation depends upon regulating energy, conserving matter, and maintaining dynamic equilibrium of the system. These factors form the basis for management that successfully sustains riparian areas.