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The Middle Rio Grande: Its ecology and managementAuthor(s): Jeffery C Whitney
Source: In: Shaw, Douglas W.; Finch, Deborah M., tech coords. Desired future conditions for Southwestern riparian ecosystems: Bringing interests and concerns together. 1995 Sept. 18-22, 1995; Albuquerque, NM. General Technical Report RM-GTR-272. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. p. 4-21.
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station
PDF: Download Publication (528.91 KB)
DescriptionThe Middle Rio Grande (MRG) riparian forest, or "bosque", represents the largest cottonwood gallery riparian forest in the southwestern United States. This reach of the Rio Grande extends from Cochiti Dam downstream 260 Km to San Marcial, New Mexico. It constitutes 8% of the river’s total length and 34% of if its length in New Mexico. The valley traverses three major biotic communities, as defined by Brown and Lowe (1980). The MRG reach can be subdivided into 4 reaches which coincide roughly with the 4 geologic basins or "grabens" along this portion of the Rio Grande Rift. This system has been affected by man’s activities throughout prehistoric and modern eras. The Rio Grande is regulated for water supply (primarily irrigation) and flood control. The effects of this interaction have contributed to the character of the riparian ecosystem in its current expression. Over 40% of New Mexico’s population lives within the MRG reach. This paper will discuss the climate, geology, hydrology, subsequent river morphology, and anthropogenie factors which contribute to the past and current expressions of the riparian habitat associated with the Middle Rio Grande.
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CitationWhitney, Jeffery C. 1996. The Middle Rio Grande: Its ecology and management. In: Shaw, Douglas W.; Finch, Deborah M., tech coords. Desired future conditions for Southwestern riparian ecosystems: Bringing interests and concerns together. 1995 Sept. 18-22, 1995; Albuquerque, NM. General Technical Report RM-GTR-272. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. p. 4-21.
Keywordsriparian ecosystems, human dimensions, hydrology, ecology, history, restoration
- The potential for implementing partial restoration of the Middle Rio Grande ecosystem
- Human impacts on riparian ecosystems of the Middle Rio Grande Valley during historic times
- Hydraulic modeling analysis of the Middle Rio Grande - Escondida Reach, New Mexico
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