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Influence of land use on fine sediment in salmonid spawning gravels within the Russian River Basin, California

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Relationships between land use or land cover and embeddedness, a measure of fine sediment in spawning gravels, were examined at multiple scales across 54 streams in the Russian River Basin, California. The results suggest that coarse-scale measures of watershed land use can explain a large proportion of the variability in embeddedness and that the explanatory power of this relationship increases with watershed size. Agricultural and urban land uses and road density were positively associated with embeddedness, while the opposite was true for forest cover. The ability of land use and land cover to predict embeddedness varied among five zones of influence, with the greatest explanatory power occurring at the entire-watershed scale. Land use within a more restricted riparian corridor generally did not relate to embeddedness, suggesting that reach-scale riparian protection or restoration will have little influence on levels of fine sediment. The explanatory power of these models was greater when conducted among a subset of the largest watersheds (maximum r2 = 0.73) than among the smallest watersheds (maximum r2 = 0.46).

Nous avons examiné à plusieurs échelles les relations entre l'utilisation des terres et la couverture végétale, d'une part, et le colmatage du substrat, une mesure des sédiments fins dans les graviers de reproduction, d'autre part, dans 54 cours d'eau du bassin versant de la rivière Russian, Californie. Nos résultats indiquent que des évaluations de l'utilisation des terres dans le bassin versant à une échelle grossière peuvent expliquer une proportion importante de la variabilité du colmatage et que le pouvoir explicatif de cette relation augmente en fonction de la taille du bassin versant. Il y a une association positive entre les utilisations urbaine et agricole des terres et la densité des routes, d'une part, et le colmatage, d'autre part, alors que la relation est inverse dans le cas de la couverture forestière. Le potentiel de l'utilisation des terres et de la couverture végétale pour prédire le colmatage varie en fonction des cinq zones d'influence et le potentiel maximal se manifeste à l'échelle du bassin versant entier. Il n'y a pas généralement de corrélation entre l'utilisation des terres sur un corridor plus étroit le long des rives et le colmatage, ce qui laisse croire que la restauration ou la protection des rives au niveau de la section du cours d'eau aura peu d'influence sur les quantités de sédiments fins. Le pouvoir explicatif de ces modèles est plus grand lorsqu'il s'applique à un sous-ensemble des bassins versants les plus grands (r2 maximal = 0,73) plutôt qu'aux plus petits bassins versants (r2 maximal = 0,46).[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2005

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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