Does adding wood to agricultural streams enhance biodiversity? An experimental approach

Lester, Rebecca E., Wright, Wendy and Jones-Lennon, Michelle 2007, Does adding wood to agricultural streams enhance biodiversity? An experimental approach, Marine and freshwater research, vol. 58, pp. 687-698, doi: 10.1071/MF06198.

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Title Does adding wood to agricultural streams enhance biodiversity? An experimental approach
Author(s) Lester, Rebecca E.ORCID iD for Lester, Rebecca E.
Wright, Wendy
Jones-Lennon, Michelle
Journal name Marine and freshwater research
Volume number 58
Start page 687
End page 698
Publisher CSIRO Publishing
Place of publication Collingwood, Vic.
Publication date 2007
ISSN 1323-1650
Keyword(s) agricultural landscape
wood load
stream rehabilitation
ecological restoration
coarse woody debris
aquatic macroinvertebrate diversity
Summary Riparian clearing and the removal of wood from channels have affected many streams in agricultural landscapes. As a result, these streams often have depauperate in-stream wood loads, and therefore decreased habitat complexity and lower levels of in-stream biodiversity. The introduction of wood was investigated as a possible rehabilitation technique for agricultural streams. Wood was re-introduced to eight streams in two separate high-rainfall, intensively grazed regions of Victoria, Australia and the effect on aquatic macroinvertebrate communities was measured. The addition of wood increased overall family richness and the richness of most functional feeding groups occupying edge and benthic habitats within the stream. Wood addition led to less overlap between benthic and edge macroinvertebrate communities, suggesting increased habitat heterogeneity within the stream ecosystem. Of all sampled habitats, wood supported the greatest density of families and was colonised by all functional feeding groups. Wood habitats also had the highest overall richness and supported the most taxa that were sensitive to disturbance. These findings suggest that re-introducing wood to agricultural streams is an appropriate rehabilitation technique where those streams are affected by reduced habitat complexity. Additional work is needed to confirm these findings over larger spatial and temporal scales.
Language eng
DOI 10.1071/MF06198
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 ©CSIRO 2007
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