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Riparian Ecosystem Creation and Restoration:
A Literature Summary


Table 4. Riparian ecosystem creation/restoration information availability and need as indicated by the synthesis of 92 riparian records in the WCR Data Base. (Availability and need are listed in approximate decreasing order).

Availability Need
U.S.; regional; localEcology of natural, undisturbed riparian ecosystems (particularly in the West)
Planting; other techniques; construction; labor; monitoring; total project; planning; cost: benefit ratiosCost: benefit analyses (including comparisons with conventional methods, e.g., sewage treatment); costs of all project aspects
Fish and wildlife habitat; hydrologic flow (including flood control); erosion control; water quality improvement; groundwater recharge/discharge; food chain support; recreation; food/timber productionCreating and restoring riparian habitat functions (particularily other than fish and wildlife habitat); monitoring functions; evaluating functions of created or restored riparian ecosystems
Baseline data (vegetation, hydrology, fish and wildlife, water quality, soil, historical, models); goals and objectives; site selection (created/restored, control); design; planning teamQuantifying objectives; incorporating habitat functions in the design; determining causes for ecosystem degradation; evaluating existing and future watershed conditions; determining hydrologic regimes; quantifiying desired recover rates
Planting (including plant selection, seeding, transplanting, controlling water levels, irrigating, fertilizing, clearing, burning, and using biocides); fencing from cattle; landforming; bank stabilizing and installing instream devices; treating soil (including transplanting soil); stocking fish or beaverLandforming to incorporate wetland functins; selection and propagation of native plants; selection of plants to fulfill riparian ecosystme functions (e.g., wildlife habitat, erosion control)
Parameters (vegetation, hydrology, fish, birds, water quality, soil, invertebrates, mammals, water and soil chemistry, reptiles, amphibians, human use); techniques; time period and frequencyCollecting, analytical, and interpretive techniques; various habitat functions; long- term; nonresident wildlife; mammals; nongame species; nonobligate riparian wildlife
Evaluating Success
Plant survival, growth, and succession; fish, wildlife, and invertebrate populations; hydrologic factors; water quality; sedimentation; comparisons with control, natural site, and preproject siteVariety of physical and biotic variables; comparisons with control, natural site, and preproject site; ecosystem functions; long- term evaluations

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