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Characterization of riparian forest quality of the Umia River for a proposed restoration

Valero, Enrique, Picos, Juan, Álvarez, Xana
Ecological engineering 2014 v.67 pp. 216-222
decision making, ecosystems, landscape management, nutrients, planning, riparian areas, riparian forests, rivers, subsurface flow, zoning
Riparian forests have an important greening filter effect, retaining particles and nutrients from runoff or subsurface waters. To provide this function, among many others, the conservation and restoration of riparian vegetation is crucial. In this paper, the evaluation of the quality and condition of the riparian forest was carried out through “Riparian Forest Quality” index on a stretch of the Umia River. A total of 55 sampling stations were evaluated. This methodology was applied for decision making in the zoning of the banks. The results indicate that there is clear deterioration of the banks from the reservoir (middle stretch of the river) to the headwaters. Finally, different levels of performance were defined, 64% of the riparian area needs recovery actions, while more than 16% of riparian area needs reinstatement actions and over 18% are conservation stretches. This method provides a useful and practical solution to environmental problems in river ecosystems, especially for planning and landscape management.