Fertile soils, long growing seasons, and proximity to large markets have made the Lower Mainland region one of the most intensively managed commercial agricultural areas in British Columbia. There are approximately 5,000 hectares of berries, 8,000 hectares of vegetables and 31,000 hectares of forage crops grown in the Lower Fraser River basin. Producers rely upon agricultural pesticides to ensure harvests of high quality crops that meet consumer demands. Areas of wet soils that connect fully aquatic and terrestrial environments, are found parallel to watercourses flowing across agricultural land. This highly productive, riparian zone supplies food, shelter and escape terrain for fish and wildlife communities throughout the year. The diverse plant life along riparian corridors maintains water quality by stabilizing banks, filtering run-off and providing shade that protects organisms from damaging ultraviolet radiation and high water temperatures (Gregory et. al., 1991). Organic litter and insects dropping from riparian vegetation provide nutrients that sustain the productivity and diversity of stream communities.
Sirois, Geoffry. 1995. Survey of Agricultural Pesticide Application Practices & Recommendations for Protecting Lower Mainland Riparian Habitat From off - Target Pesticide Deposit -a view to the future-. Environment Canada
Keywords: riparian habitat, aquatic systems, terrestrial systems, diverse vegetation, agricultural land form, watercourses, pest control, fungicides, herbicides, insecticides
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