Submitted to: Research Day Abstracts: Regional Universities Research Day
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/9/2001
Publication Date: 11/9/2001
Citation: Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Many streams have been either straightened or relocated in an effort to protect or increase productivity of agricultural lands. The present environmental status of relocated streams and their riparian areas needs to be evaluated as well as the level of management needed to achieve sustainable conditions. To quantify he long-term effect (>30 years) of relocation, stream glides (fast flowing shallow water areas) and pools wer measured and water quality data were collected for three years on two ephemeral streams surrounded by permanent pasture in central Alabama. Selected streams had mostly wooded watersheds (~9 km2) with relocated and adjoining undisturbed reaches. Water quality did not vary appreciable between relocated and adjoining undisturbed reaches but variation occurred in the percentage of channel length in glides. Glides occupied six 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 indicated reloction caused long-term degradation and that the RCE Inventory can be used in determinng the level of needed management.