A Multi-Metric Index for Evaluating the Condition of Riparian Corridors

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Abstract:

Preservation and restoration of riparian corridors are among the highest priorities for watershed and coastal management; however, no assessment method currently incorporates the range of elements necessary to fully characterize the health of these systems. This paper presents the development of a broad index to comprehensively evaluate riparian ecosystem condition and measure human impacts across a range of elements and scales, and demonstrates its application to a Southern California coastal watershed. Index scores were highly correlated to rankings by experts with several decades of combined knowledge of the watershed, and we believe these to be a more accurate representation of site conditions than B-IBI scores. The index provides a flexible framework which can be tailored for application to local watershed ecologies, while still providing a consistent approach and scoring methodology. Potential applications include comparing riparian reaches, determining suitability and priority for restoration, and quantifying changes over time.

Keywords: BENTHIC MACROINVERTEBRATES; ECOSYSTEM CONDITION INDEX; MEDITERRANEAN CLIMATE; WETLANDS

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/193864707788115889

Publication date: October 1, 2007

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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