A Functional Approach to Riparian Area Delineation Using Geospatial Methods
Authors: Holmes, Kathryn L.; Goebel, P. Charles
Source: Journal of Forestry, Volume 109, Number 4, June 2011 , pp. 233-241(9)
Publisher: Society of American Foresters
Abstract:Riparian areas are diverse ecotones that provide numerous, valuable ecosystem functions. However, many riparian delineation methods use a fixed minimum width to create a riparian buffer or setback that may not adequately protect actual riparian function. A method for riparian area delineation across landscapes is presented that incorporates riparian function and moves beyond the fixed-width buffer approach. Using geospatial data and tools, riparian areas were delineated functionally for the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in northeastern Ohio and compared to fixed-width buffers in terms of extent and protection of riparian function. We suggest that functional riparian area delineation be incorporated into watershed management planning to improve protection and restoration of the valuable ecological functions provided by riparian areas across landscapes.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: June 1, 2011
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