Riparian Areas of the Southwestern United States: Hydrology, Ecology, and Management

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ISBN 9781566706261
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Features

  • Classifies riparian areas and settings; describes the history of riparian ecosystems from the perspective of the human activity and economic development
  • Explores hydrology and impacts of disturbances on hydrologic functioning, linkage between riparian corridors and surrounding watersheds, and the effects of human alterations
  • Describes the inhabitants of southwestern riparian ecosystems including plants, mammals, avifauna, herpetofauna, insects and other invertebrates, and native and introduced fish
  • Discusses multiple use conflicts and management among competing interests, which include livestock grazing wildlife and fish management, and recreation
  • Analyzes ecosystem assessment techniques, environmental restoration, and the limits of institutions in managing riparian resources
  • Provides expert prognosis of what the future is likely to bring in relation to the improvement of riparian areas in the Southwest
  • Summary

    The demand for water resulting from massive population and economic growth in the southwestern U.S. overwhelmed traditional uses of riparian areas. As a consequence, many of these uniquely-structured ecosystems have been altered or destroyed. Within recent years people have become increasingly aware of the many uses and benefits of riparian zones and have emphasized ecosystem restoration and the resolution of multiple-use conflicts.

    Riparian Areas of the Southwestern United States: Hydrology, Ecology, and Management offers a holistic overview of the effects of human activity on these fragile but critical ecosystems. Topics range from an overview of the organisms that inhabit these corridors to the research, planning, and management issues that will determine the preservation and/or future use of these areas. This comprehensive analysis will aid engineers, hydrologists, ecologists, land-use planners, non-governmental organizations, and policymakers in the ongoing attempt to find a balance among the demands of agriculture, recreation, conservation, and development.

    Table of Contents

    Introduction


    BACKGROUND

    Definitions and Classifications
    Setting and History


    FUNCTIONING

    Hydrology and Impacts of Disturbances on Hydrologic Function
    Linkages between Riparian Corridors and Surrounding Watersheds
    Human Alterations of Riparian Ecosystems


    INHABITANTS

    Riparian Flora
    Mammals, Avifauna, and Herpetofauna
    Native Fishes: Their Status, Threats, and Conservation
    Insects and Other Invertebrates: Ecological Roles and Indicators of Riparian and Stream Health


    LAND USES AND MANAGEMENT

    Livestock Grazing in Riparian Areas: Environmental Impacts, Management Practices, Management Implications
    Wildlife Population and Habitat Management Practices
    Fish Habitats: Conservation and Management Implications
    Water Availability and Recreational Opportunities
    Riparian Ecosystem Assessments
    Restoration of Riparian Ecosystems
    Institutional Limitations to Management and Use of Riparian

    Resources
    Conclusion
    Index