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Title: The Role of Bankside Habitat in River Ecology: The importance of riparian and marginal vegetation on the distribution and abundance of aquatice invertebrates
Author: Harrison S
Author: S Harrison
Author: I Harris
Author: P Armitages
Document Type: Monograph
Annotation: Environment Agency Project ID:EAPRJOUT_488, Representation ID: 159, Object ID: 1827
From the results of this report, it is clear that good management of stream and river banksides is a major contributing factor in the achievement of a diverse and abundant aquatic invertebrate community. This work on chalk streams has highlighted the fundamental nature of aquatic marginal vegetation, and described the importance of different bankside environments. On smaller rivers and streams in particular where severe flooding is rare (and where past practices to alleviate flood risk have led to degraded bankside habitat and vegetation structure) encouraging botanical communities to re-establish would enable the statutory obligations listed above to be met whilst maintaining awareness of potentially conflicting interests. In degraded river systems, bankside vegetation (both aquatic and terrestrial) is likely to be of even greater importance. Chalk streams support exceedingly rich and diverse communities of plants and animals (Mainstone et al., I%%), unique recognition of which, in terms of rivers, has been denoted by preparation of Biodiversity (Habitat) Action Plans. Yet even so, habitats can be prioritised, and the presence of a natural riparian and marginal environment has emerged as paramount. In less productive watercourses, and those that have been insensitively managed in the past, such physical habitat is often largely absent. This is likely to render any remaining areas of bankside/marginal vegetation of vital significance. It is hoped that the main findings, summarised below, will contribute to decision making processes and stimulate further investigation and research. - Areas of wetted marginal vegetation are extremely important components of the riverine environment in all chalk-stream riparian management reginzes in tepms of aquatic invertebrate biodiversity, abundance, rare species and reproduction; - The emergent adult life stage of many aquatic invertebrates may require as much. attention as the larval stage. Best management should aim at maximising the varieties of bankside vegetation structure, and recognise the significance of ungrazed and wooded sections.
Publisher: Environment Agency
Subject Keywords: RiversRiverbanksInvertebratesHabitatsAquatic communitiesHabitat improvementFreshwater ecology
Extent: 41
Total file downloads: 32

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