Skip to Main Content
Introduction and overview [chapter 1]Author(s): Jeanne C. Chambers; Jerry R. Miller; Dru Germanosk
Source: In: Chambers, Jeanne C.; Miller, Jerry R., eds. Geomorphology, hydrology, and ecology of Great Basin meadow complexes - implications for management and restoration. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-258. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 1-10.
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
PDF: View PDF (1.42 MB)
DescriptionStreams and riparian ecosystems are a particularly valuable resource in the arid to semi-arid Great Basin, supplying water for agriculture and domestic uses, forage for livestock, and habitat for diverse aquatic and terrestrial organisms. In upland watersheds of the central Great Basin, many of the streams and riparian ecosystems have been severely degraded (Chambers and Miller 2004b; Chambers and others 2004a). A primary cause of this degradation is ongoing stream incision (downcutting) that occurs during episodic high flow events (Miller and others 2001, 2004). Meadow complexes (areas with shallow water tables that are dominated largely by grasses and carices) are at especially high risk of degradation because they often occur in hydrologic and geomorphic settings that are susceptible to stream incision (Chambers and others 2004a, 2004b; Germanoski and Miller 2004; Jewett and others 2004). In many cases, streams have been isolated from their original floodplains, and there have been significant changes in channel pattern and form. As the channels have incised, the base level for groundwater discharge has been lowered, resulting in deeper water tables. Because riparian vegetation depends on groundwater availability, there have been changes in the structure and composition of meadow ecosystems (Wright and Chambers 2002; Chambers and others 2004a, 2004b). The net effect has been a decrease in the aerial extent of the riparian corridor and a loss of meadow ecosystems.
- You may send email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationChambers, Jeanne C.; Miller, Jerry R.; Germanosk, Dru. 2011. Introduction and overview [chapter 1]. In: Chambers, Jeanne C.; Miller, Jerry R., eds. Geomorphology, hydrology, and ecology of Great Basin meadow complexes - implications for management and restoration. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-258. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 1-10.
Keywordsriparian areas, wetlands, semi-arid ecosystems, degradation, stream incision, stabilization
- Charcterization of meadow ecosystems based on watershed and valley segment/reach scale characteristics [chapter 7]
- Meadow-stream processes and aquatic invertebrate community structure [chapter 6]
- Meadow sensitivity to natural and anthropogenic disturbance [chapter 5]
XML: View XML