Submitted to: American Society of Limnology and Oceanography
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/1/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: In north Mississippi, field-scale grade control structures (drop pipes) are utilized to control gully erosion occurring within riparian zones and agricultural fields bordering incised streams undergoing restoration. Drop pipe installation may result in four riparian habitats which are classified as: upland meadow, saturated emergent wetland, scrub-shrub wetland, and intermittent riverine wetland. We sampled small mammals and birds from representative sites of these four habitat types and riparian sites impacted by gully erosion to evaluate this structure=s effectiveness in habitat creation. Mean mammal species richness in upland meadows was the lowest of all habitat types (P<0.05), while other habitat types exhibited no differences in mean species richness from each other. Mean species richness of birds was the highest in the intermittent riverine wetlands and the lowest in the upland meadows (P<0.05). No difference in mean bird species richness was present among gully erosion sites, saturated emergent wetlands, and scrub-shrub wetlands. Relative abundance trends of mammals and birds exhibited similar patterns as species richness trends. Drop pipes are capable of trapping sediment to protect downstream resources and creating habitat for riparian vertebrates. Altering standard installation practices will achieve increased habitat benefits for small mammal and bird communities.