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Links between riparian vegetation and flow
Expanded Title:The objective of this project was to quantify the links between components of the flow regime and the occurrence of riparian species in lateral zones alongside rivers. The need to understand and quantity these links rose from the need to predict changes in riparian communities in response to changes in river flow. To develop a framework that explains the existence of different plant communities in different lateral zones, a mechanistic explanation for characteristic differences between the lateral zones must be established. The aims were: 1. to identify the position, number and composition of lateral zones in riparian vegetation communities in a selection of rivers in South Africa; 2. to suggest standardized names for the identified lateral vegetation zones; 3. to explore the relationships between these lateral vegetation zones and aspects of the daily flow hydrology and, if possible, link the identified zones to flows of particular return periods; 4. to seek simple methods for the identification of the lateral vegetation zones; and 5. to produce guidelines on the identification of lateral vegetation zones, and their links to flow, for use in South Africa. It was shown that from a species perspective, a combination of data of groundcovers and trees was best to distinguish the lateral zones. However, it is particularly useful to consider the responses of trees and groundcovers separately in each lateral zone, since they respond at different temporal scales to prevailing conditions. Additional studies are recommended on the reproductive biology of southern African riparian flora, which would improve the ability to prescribe flow regimes that cater for their needs and allow for more effective management of rivers.
Date Published:01/08/2013
Document Type:Research Report
Document Subjects:Water Resource Management/IWRM - Planning and development, Ecosystem - Biodiversity protection
Document Format:Report
Document File Type:pdf
Research Report Type:Standard
WRC Report No:1981/1/13
ISBN No:978-1-4312-0457-1
Authors:Reinecke K; Brown C
Project No:K5/1981
Document Size:2 479 KB
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