Relationship between riparian vegetation and the flood frequency

Yuh Rong Guh, Wei Cheng Zhao, Shih Hsiung Liang, Chjeng-Lun Shieh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The management of water resources has for long emphasized their proper utilization and protection against natural calamities. The conservation of streams, together with their riparian areas, which are under the pressure of development and stream pollution, has become increasingly relevant to biologists, ecologists, landscape architects and engineers. In river rehabilitation, the stream corridor is the important habitat that connects the watershed upstream and downstream with the greater amphibious area. The riparian plant functions in the stream corridor decrease the water temperature, lower the river nutrient load, reduce erosion, provide habitats for numerous biota, particularly amphibians, protect the fish habitat and maintain the rivers' ecological food chain integrity. River restoration has to accord highest priority to provide the necessary space reserved for riparian vegetation. This research combines flood frequency analysis with the riparian vegetation features to determine the relationship between frequency of variation in river discharge with the river width and vegetation characteristics. The study shows that different vegetation life form distributions are impacted by the flood frequency. The annual plants appear in the river width with an average flood frequency of 1.1-5 years. Perennial plants appear at a 1.1-10 year frequency and shrubs require a 2.33-20 year frequency while arborescent plants require 5-50 years flood frequency. It can be seen that a flood frequency variation that interferes with the river ecology is helpful in promoting riparian vegetation diversity. Therefore, advantage could be taken of the stream flood frequency in combination with related river ecology water conservation projects to provide for future water resources management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-38
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Ecology and Environmental Sciences
Volume31
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Mar

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Environmental Science(all)

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