Ecological and biogeochemical hotspots along boreal streams: Recommendations for best-management-practice of riparian buffers
Riparian groundwater discharge hotspots have higher biodiversity and distinct soil chemistry, and may thus embody substantially larger control over stream water quality than adjacent non-discharge sites. Therefore the protection of these areas from forestry perturbation, by maintaining wider riparian buffers, is essential.
This project aims to increase the understanding of ecological and biogeochemical hotspots along boreal streams in order to more effectively and optimally manage riparian buffers associated with forestry operations.
Riparian hotspots along streams and rivers are closely linked to discharge of upland-originated groundwater and they provide important ecosystem services. Riparian groundwater discharge hotspots have higher biodiversity and have distinct soil chemistry, and may thus embody substantially larger control over stream water quality than adjacent non-discharge sites. Therefore the protection of these areas from forestry perturbation, by maintaining wider riparian buffers, is essential.
Many forestry managers and scientists have requested the differences to be evaluated, between groundwater chemistry across discharge and non-discharge riparian sites and the direct effects of riparian groundwater discharge on stream water biogeochemistry. The project aim to perform groundwater sampling across discharge and non-discharge riparian areas situated at an already established sampling sites within the Krycklan Catchment in Västerbotten.
The intention is to utilize high resolution hydrological models of the catchment to relate groundwater chemistry to hydrological flow paths across the landscape and groundwater table depths in riparian zones. Togetheter with previous results about biodiversity and ecosystem functioning the project can provide holistic recommendation for best management of riparian buffers.
Sammanfattning av projektets resultat
- The result of the sampling campaigns showed that groundwater chemistry is substantially different between the pairs of discharge and non-discharge sites in respect to for example electrical conductivity, total carbon concentrations and base cations.
- Overall our results demonstrate that groundwater discharge locations in boreal riparian zones embody large control over stream water quality and quantity. Therefore, we strongly suggest that management of riparian buffers, associated with forestry operations, abandon the long time utilized fixed-width concept. Instead, riparian buffers should be hydrologically adapted, wider on areas with groundwater discharges and narrower on drier places.
Ämne: Mark & vatten