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    Description

    Riparian zones along forest streams in the western United States have been repeatedly shown to be floristically and climatically different from adjacent upland forest, and to be important contributors to forest biodiversity. Similar evidence for the presence or function of riparian zones is lacking for forests of the northeastern U.S. We conducted seasonal surveys of forest-floor temperature and soil moisture across 30-m riparian transects on first- to third-order streams in southern New England.We were unable to detect any effect of distance from the stream channel on either temperature or soil moisture. These preliminary results indicate the absence of a unique riparian forest-floor microclimate within 30 m of low-order streams in southern New England. While this study failed to identify a distinctive riparian microclimatic zone, protection of a riparian buffer during forestry operations or other disturbance is essential for the protection of forest streams and their resources and the maintenance of forest biodiversity.

    Publication Notes

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    Citation

    Brooks, Robert T.; Kyker-Snowman, Thomas D. 2009. Forest-floor temperatures and soil moisture across riparian zones on first- to third-order headwater streams in southern New England, USA

    Keywords

    air temperatures, water temperatures, soil temperatures, forest floor, low-order streams, riparian zone, soil moisture

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