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  • 1.
    Dietrich, Anna
    et al.
    Umeå University, Sweden.
    Lind, Lovisa
    Umeå University, Sweden.
    Nilsson, Christer
    Umeå University, Sweden.
    Jansson, Roland
    Umeå University, Sweden.
    The Use of Phytometers for Evaluating Restoration Effects on Riparian Soil Fertility2014In: Journal of Environmental Quality, ISSN 0047-2425, E-ISSN 1537-2537, Vol. 43, no 6, p. 1916-1925Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The ecological restoration of streams in Sweden has become increasingly important to counteract effects of past timber floating. In this study, we focused on the effect on riparian soil properties after returning coarse sediment (cobbles and boulders) to the channel and reconnecting riparian with instream habitats. Restoration increases habitat availability for riparian plants, but its effects on soil quality are unknown. We also analyzed whether the restoration effect differs with variation in climate and stream size. We used standardized plant species to measure the performance of a grass (Phleum pratense L.) and a forb (Centaurea cyanus L.) in soils sampled in the riparian zones of channelized and restored streams and rivers. Furthermore, we analyzed the mass fractions of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) along with the proportions of the stable isotopes C-13 and N-15 in the soil, as well as its grain size composition. We found a positive effect of restoration on biomass of phytometers grown in riparian soils from small streams, indicating that restoration enhanced the soil properties favoring plant performance. We suggest that changed flooding with more frequent but less severe floods and slower flows, enhancing retention, could explain the observed patterns. This positive effect suggests that it may be advantageous to initiate restoration efforts in small streams, which make up the highest proportion of the stream network in a catchment. Restoration responses in headwater streams may then be transmitted downstream to facilitate recovery of restored larger rivers. If the larger rivers were restored first, a slower reaction would be expected.

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