The management of streams, particularly small streams, remains a controversial and high priority topic. This information is needed for government, industry, NGO and others concerned about forested watersheds. Small streams and their riparian areas provide important ecosystem services to downstream areas, control the supply and quality of water, sediment, and nutrients, as well as providing unique habitats. This study provides critical tests of the effectiveness of alterative types of riparian management for stream and riparian protection. The study includes two phases, the first of which began in 1996 to test the effectiveness of fixed width reserves of either 10 m or 30 m width versus clearcuts and control (forested) sites (13 streams in total). The second phase began in 2002 with the inclusion of an additional 3 streams to receive partial (50%) tree removal (by basal area) in the riparian areas compared to the original 3 control streams. The third aspect is the integration of all component projects into ecosystem models that will provide tools to evaluate the ecological effects of various forest management prescriptions. This project was established as an integrated, ecosystem study, which will provide the opportunity to model the responses of stream-riparian systems in a range of management scenarios, and also to determine mechanisms. Lastly, the duration of the study allows us to determine persistent from transient changes in stream-riparian systems resulting from harvesting.
John S. Richardson, R. Dan Moore, Peter M. Kiffney, Michael Feller, Steve Mitchell, and Scott G. Hinch.
Richardson, John S., Moore, R. Dan; Kiffney, Peter M.; Feller, Michael C.; Mitchell, Stephen J.; Hinch, Scott G.. 2006. Ecology and management of riparian - stream ecosystems: a large-scale experiment using alternative streamside management techniques. Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program. Forest Investment Account Report. FIA2006MR280