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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Riparian Ecosystem Creation and Restoration:
A Literature Summary

Functions

Water Quality Improvement


Reclaiming degraded streams tributary to major river systems would help reduce nonpoint source pollution (Skinner et al. 1985). Vegetation traps sediment during high flow events. Nutrients are removed as water flows through mature riparian zones. Anaerobic bacterial activity is maximized in the riparian zone. Nutrients capable of being eliminated by anaerobic bacteria to a gaseous by-product could be reduced in well-managed riparian zones before polluting stream flow. The high potential plant production of riparian zones favors assimilation and retention of nutrients.
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