Submitted to: Ecological Society of America Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/6/2001
Publication Date: 8/6/2001
Citation: Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: A need exists to determine the current environmental status of relocated streams and their riparian areas in the Alabama Black Belt and to have a rapid method to determine the level of management needed to achieve sustainable conditions. To quantify the long-term effect (>30 years) of relocation, stream glides (shallow, fast flowing water areas) and pools were measured and water quality data were collected for three years on two ephemeral streams surrounded by permanent pasture. Selected streams had mostly wooded watersheds of about nine square kilometers with relocated and adjoining undisturbed reaches. Water quality did not vary appreciably between relocated and adjoining undisturbed reaches but variation occurred in the percentage of channel length in glides. Glides occupied 6 percent of the first relocated reach and 23 percent for the second compared to 13 percent for the first undisturbed reach and 48 percent for the second. Reaches were also compared using the Riparian Channel Environmental Inventory (RCE). The RCE score for the first relocated reach was 171 (good, general management needed) and 113 (fair, considerable management needed) for the second while the first undisturbed reach score was 215 (very good, selected management needed) and 245 (very good, selected management needed) for the second. The study indicates relocation caused long-term degradation and that the RCE Inventory can be used in determining the level of needed management.