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Stream Networks and Riparian Zones
Landscape Ecology
(EEES 4760/6760)
Basic terminology
Stream Network
· Structure
· Function
· Management
Gregory, S.V., F.J. Swanson, W.A. McKee, and K.W. Cummins. 1991. An ecosystem perspective of
riparian zones. Bioscience 41(8): 540-551.
River Continuum Concept:
Streams and rivers in a landscape are connected to each other to form a geographic and
biological network. Biotic and abiotic characteristics, function, and movement and
distribution of biota and other matters are directly related to this network. e.g., aquatic
species, vegetation, water quality, movement of wildlife and dispersal of seeds.
Riparian zone:
Streamside with distinguished vegetation and soil moisture
Flooding area
3-D perspective: outward to the limits of flooding and upward into the canopy of stream
side vegetation. Obviously, it is scale dependent.
Hyporheic zone:
The interstitial habitat beneath the streambed that is the interface between water and
the adjoining groundwater; HZ was thought to be shallow and narrow but was found 3
km wide and 10 m deep on the Flathead, Montana.
Stream Networks of
Five Watershed in
Continental U.S.
Methods of Ordering Streams
Within a Drainage Basin (from Ritter et
al. 1995)
Riparian Zone
Species resource (gene pool) and habitat
Course Woody Debris (CWD)
Nutrient-energy sources
Water quality and quantity
Recreational values
Other social values
Landscape Corridors
Landscape Connectivity
Cumulative effects