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Evaluating the biological significance of intermittent streamsAuthor(s): Leslie M. Reid; Robert R. Ziemer
Source: Issues in watershed analysis. Discussions at interdisciplinary and interagency workshops held at the Humboldt Interagency Watershed Analysis Center in McKinleyville, California. 13 p.
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
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DescriptionIntermittent channels comprise a large proportion of the drainage network in many parts of the Pacific Northwest, and recent policy changes now afford them an unprecedented level of protection. If, during watershed analysis, these sites are found to be relatively unimportant in maintaining the overall ecosystem, then their level of protection is likely to be decreased. An important function of watershed analysis on Federal lands of the Pacific Northwest is thus to evaluate the roles these landscape features play in maintaining ecosystems on adjacent slopes, in riparian areas, and in downstream aquatic environments. Intermittent channels which support distinctive riparian vegetation are most important biologically; the major biological role of smaller channels is likely to be their influence on the supply of sediment, water, and organic materials to downstream channels. Neither the physical nor biological role of intermittent channels can be evaluated without evaluation of their interactions with hillslope ecosystems and physical processes. Watershed analysis can provide information in different parts of a watershed about the extent of the intermittent channel network, what types of interactions are important for ecosystems at those sites and downstream, what types of management activities influence those interactions, and the types of information that will be useful to gather before or during project-level assessments. Watershed analysis cannot define Riparian Reserve boundaries, and collection of new inventory information is not intended as a part of watershed analysis
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CitationReid, Leslie M.; Ziemer, Robert R. 1994. Evaluating the biological significance of intermittent streams. Issues in watershed analysis. Discussions at interdisciplinary and interagency workshops held at the Humboldt Interagency Watershed Analysis Center in McKinleyville, California. 13 p.
Keywordswatershed analysis, channels, ecosystems, drainage, intermittent stream
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