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    Author(s): Daniel G. NearyAlvin L. Medina
    Date: 1996
    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. 143-147.
    Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
    Station: Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station
    PDF: View PDF  (147.93 KB)

    Description

    Wildcat Creek, a tributary of the Black River on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest is being studied to determine the impacts of cattle and elk grazing on riparian wet meadows. An intensive survey of a selected stream reach revealed a unique channel development involving an aggradation/degradation process in a pool-riffle sequence of an E-6 stream channel. Grazing and trampling impacts of elk and cattle were found to affect the process in two ways: 1) overgrazing of stream banks resulted in exposure of the soil fabric and loss during high flows, sloughing of banks, channel widening, and a reduction in the ability of plants to trap sediments; and 2) trampling at animal crossings initiated a degradation of riffles by breaking down the armoring gravels which are held in place by native aquatic plants of the genera Carex, Cyperus, Juncus, Glyceria, Scirpus etc. The importance of the aggradation/degradation process is in the long-term maintenance of montane cienegas in a quasi-stable condition with fully functional processes.

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    Citation

    Neary, Daniel G.; Medina, Alvin L. 1996. Geomorphic response of a montane riparian habitat to interactions of ungulates, vegetation, and hydrology. 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. 143-147.

    Keywords

    riparian ecosystems, human dimensions, hydrology, ecology, history, restoration

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