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Towards ecologically functional riparian zones: A meta-analysis to develop guidelines for protecting ecosystem functions and biodiversity in agricultural landscapes
2019 (English)In: Journal of Environmental Management, ISSN 0301-4797, E-ISSN 1095-8630, Vol. 249, article id 109391Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Riparian zones contribute with biodiversity and ecosystem functions of fundamental importance for regulating flow and nutrient transport in waterways. However, agricultural land-use and physical changes made to improve crop productivity and yield have resulted in modified hydrology and displaced natural vegetation. The modification to the hydrology and natural vegetation have affected the biodiversity and many ecosystem functions provided by riparian zones. Here we review the literature to provide state-of-the-art recommendations for riparian zones in agricultural landscapes. We analysed all available publications since 1984 that have quantified services provided by riparian zones and use this information to recommend minimum buffer widths. We also analysed publications that gave buffer width recommendations to sustain different groups of organisms. We found that drainage size matters for nutrient and sediment removal, but also that a 3 m wide buffer zone acts as a basic nutrient filter. However, to maintain a high floral diversity, a 24 m buffer zone is required, while a 144 m buffer is needed to preserve bird diversity. Based on the analysis, we developed the concept of “Ecologically Functional Riparian Zones” (ERZ) and provide a step-by-step framework that managers can use to balance agricultural needs and environmental protection of waterways from negative impacts. By applying ERZ in already existing agricultural areas, we can better meet small targets and move towards the long-term goal of achieving a more functional land management and better environmental status of waterways.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Academic Press , 2019. Vol. 249, article id 109391
Keywords [en]
Agricultural, Buffer zone, Ecological functional riparian zones, Riparian zone, Vegetation, Water, agricultural land, ecosystem function, environmental protection, filter, functional role, hydrological regime, land management, land use, waterway transport, biodiversity, controlled study, crop production, freshwater environment, human, hydrology, landscape, nutrient uptake, practice guideline, Review, riparian ecosystem, rural area, sandy loam, soil property, soil texture, species composition, water quality, water temperature, agriculture, ecosystem, environmental monitoring, meta analysis, river, Aves, Rivers
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-75700DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2019.109391Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85070861074OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-75700DiVA, id: diva2:1369681
Available from: 2019-11-12 Created: 2019-11-12 Last updated: 2019-12-02

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