Rehabilitating agricultural streams in Australia with wood : a review

Lester, Rebecca E. and Boulton, Andrew J. 2008, Rehabilitating agricultural streams in Australia with wood : a review, Environmental management, vol. 42, no. 2, pp. 310-326, doi: 10.1007/s00267-008-9151-1.

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Title Rehabilitating agricultural streams in Australia with wood : a review
Author(s) Lester, Rebecca E.ORCID iD for Lester, Rebecca E.
Boulton, Andrew J.
Journal name Environmental management
Volume number 42
Issue number 2
Start page 310
End page 326
Total pages 17
Publisher Springer-Verlag New York
Place of publication New York, N.Y.
Publication date 2008
ISSN 0364-152X
Keyword(s) large woody debris
wood reintroduction
agricultural impacts
stream restoration
ecological rehabilitation
coarse woody debris
Summary Worldwide, the ecological condition of streams and rivers has been impaired by agricultural practices such as broadscale modification of catchments, high nutrient and sediment inputs, loss of riparian vegetation, and altered hydrology. Typical responses include channel incision, excessive sedimentation, declining water quality, and loss of in-stream habitat complexity and biodiversity. We review these impacts, focusing on the potential benefits and limitations of wood reintroduction as a transitional rehabilitation technique in these agricultural landscapes using Australian examples. In streams, wood plays key roles in shaping velocity and sedimentation profiles, forming pools, and strengthening banks. In the simplified channels typical of many agricultural streams, wood provides habitat for fauna, substrate for biofilms, and refuge from predators and flow extremes, and enhances in-stream diversity of fish and macroinvertebrates.

Most previous restoration studies involving wood reintroduction have been in forested landscapes, but some results might be extrapolated to agricultural streams. In these studies, wood enhanced diversity of fish and macroinvertebrates, increased storage of organic material and sediment, and improved bed and bank stability. Failure to meet restoration objectives appeared most likely where channel incision was severe and in highly degraded environments. Methods for wood reintroduction have logistical advantages over many other restoration techniques, being relatively low cost and low maintenance. Wood reintroduction is a viable transitional restoration technique for agricultural landscapes likely to rapidly improve stream condition if sources of colonists are viable and water quality is suitable.

Language eng
DOI 10.1007/s00267-008-9151-1
Field of Research 059999 Environmental Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2008, Springer Science+Business Media
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