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Riparian Ecosystem Recovery in Arid Lands

University of Arizona Press

Titre : Riparian Ecosystem Recovery in Arid Lands

Auteur(s) : Mark K Briggs
Publisher : University of Arizona Press
Date de parution : 15 Oct 1996
Pages : 159

Riparian ecosystems are declining throughout the southwestern United States, where many have disappeared completely ; yet progress toward checking their decline has been marginal, and the results of only a few recovery projects have been evaluated. In this guidebook, Mark K. Briggs has filled this gap in riparian conservation literature. Based on his experiences gleaned from evaluating the results of many riparian rehabilitation projects, Briggs presents these results in a manner that biologists, hydrologists, government planners, resource managers, and other concerned citizens can immediately apply toward developing site-specific recovery strategies. The book opens with a review of watershed characteristics and an examination of drainage systems, then proceeds to determining the causes of riparian decline. It introduces five factors that have a significant effect on the results of riparian rehabilitation—natural regeneration, water availability, channel stability, direct impacts such as livestock grazing and recreational activities, and soil salinity—and offers case studies that demonstrate how revegetation has been used both effectively and ineffectively. It also discusses strategies other than revegetation that may be effective in improving the ecological condition of a site. Many of the strategies presented are also relevant to nonarid climates and to urban areas. By emphasizing evaluation of riparian ecosystems, so that the causes of degradation can be understood, and by offering general approaches that can be tailored to specific situations, Riparian Ecosystem Recovery in Arid Lands takes a holistic approach to riparian recovery that will enable users to better judge whether recovery expenditures are likely to produce desired results. An unprecedented work, it will substantially add to efforts across the Southwest and elsewhere to restore these unique and priceless ecosystems.



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