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|Title:||Large wood addition for aquatic habitat rehabilitation in an incised, sand-bed stream, Little Topashaw Creek, Mississippi|
|Authors:||Shields Jr, F. D.|
Knight, S. S.
Stofleth, J. M.
|Abstract:||Large wood (LW) is a key component of stream habitats, and degraded streams often contain little wood relative to less-impacted ones. Habitat rehabilitation and erosion control techniques that emphasize addition of natural wood in the form of individual elements or structures are increasingly popular. However, the efficacy of wood addition, especially in physically unstable, warmwater systems is not well established. The effects of habitat rehabilitation of Little Topashaw Creek, a sinuous, sand-bed stream draining 37 km2 in northwest Mississippi are described herein. The rehabilitation project consisted of placing 72 LW structures along eroding concave banks of a 2-km reach and planting 4000 willow cuttings in sandbars opposite or adjacent to the LW structures. Response was measured by monitoring flow, channel geometry, physical aquatic habitat and fish populations in treated and untreated reaches for 2 years before and 4 years after rehabilitation. Initially, LW structures reduced high flow velocities at concave bank toes. Progressive failure of the LW structures and renewed erosion began during the second year after rehabilitation, with only 64% of the structures and about 10% of the willow plantings surviving for 3 years. Accordingly, long-term changes in physical habitat attributable to rehabilitation were limited to an increase in LW density. Fish biomass increased in the treated reach, and species richness approximately doubled in all reaches after rehabilitation, suggesting the occurrence of some sort of stressful event prior to our study. Fish community composition shifted toward one typical of a lightly degraded reference site, but similar shifts occurred in the untreated reaches downstream, which had relatively high levels of naturally occurring LW. Large wood is a key component of sand-bed stream ecosystems, but LW addition for rehabilitation should be limited to sites with more stable beds and conditions that foster rapid woody plant colonization of sediment deposits. Published in 2006 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.|
|Journal Title:||River Research and Applications|
|Appears in Collections:||Hunter Local Land Services|
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