Riparian forest as a management tool for moderating future thermal conditions of lowland temperate streams
- 1Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, Ole Worms Allé, Building 135, 8000 Aarhus, Denmark
- 2Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, Vejlsøvej 25, 8600 Silkeborg, Denmark
- 3Department of Freshwater Ecology, Alterra, Wageningen University and Research Centre, P.O. Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen, the Netherlands
Abstract. Predictions of the future climate infer that stream water temperatures may increase in temperate lowland areas and that streams without riparian forest will be particularly prone to elevated stream water temperature. Planting of riparian forest is a potential mitigation measure to reduce water temperatures for the benefit of stream organisms. However, no studies have yet determined the length of a forested reach required to obtain a significant temperature decrease. To investigate this we measured the temperature in five small Danish lowland streams from June 2010 to July 2011, all showing a sharp transition between an upstream open reach and a downstream forested reach. In all stream reaches we also measured canopy cover and a range of physical variables characterizing the streams reaches. This allowed us to analyse differences in mean daily temperature and amplitude per month among forested and open sections as well as to study annual temperature regimes and the influence of physical conditions on temperature changes. Stream water temperature in the open reaches was affected by heating, and in July we observed an increase in temperature over the entire length of the investigated reaches, reaching temperatures higher than the incipient lethal limit for brown trout. Along the forest reaches a significant decrease in July temperatures was recorded immediately (100 m) when the stream moved into the forested area. In three of our study streams the temperature continued to decrease the longer the stream entered into the forested reach, and the temperature decline did not reach a plateau. The temperature increases along the open reaches were accompanied by stronger daily temperature variation; however, when the streams entered into the forest, the range in daily variation decreased. Multiple regression analysis of the combined effects on stream water temperature of canopy cover, Width/Depth ratio, discharge, current velocity and water temperature revealed that canopy cover and Width/Depth were the two variables responsible for the reduced temperature observed when the streams enter the forest. In consequence, we conclude that even relatively short stretches (100–500 m) of forest alongside streams may combat the negative effects of heating of stream water and that forest planting can be a useful mitigation measure.
P. B. Kristensen et al.
P. B. Kristensen et al.
P. B. Kristensen et al.
12 citations as recorded by crossref.
- Mediating Water Temperature Increases Due to Livestock and Global Change in High Elevation Meadow Streams of the Golden Trout Wilderness S. Nusslé et al. 10.1371/journal.pone.0142426
- A biological tool to assess flow connectivity in reference temporary streams from the Mediterranean Basin N. Cid et al. 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.06.086
- River modification reduces climate resilience of brown trout ( Salmo trutta ) populations in Ireland R. O'Briain et al. 10.1111/fme.12326
- Assessing the Benefits of Forested Riparian Zones: A Qualitative Index of Riparian Integrity Is Positively Associated with Ecological Status in European Streams F. Burdon et al. 10.3390/w12041178
- Environmental context and magnitude of disturbance influence trait‐mediated community responses to wastewater in streams F. Burdon et al. 10.1002/ece3.2165
- River reaches with impaired riparian tree cover and channel morphology have reduced thermal resilience R. O'Briain et al. 10.1002/eco.1890
- Land cover effect on water discharge, matter losses and surface temperature: Results of 20 years monitoring in the Šumava Mts J. Procházka et al. 10.1016/j.ecoleng.2018.11.030
- Identifying riparian climate corridors to inform climate adaptation planning M. Krosby et al. 10.1371/journal.pone.0205156
- What else do managers need to know about warming rivers? A United Kingdom perspective H. Orr et al. 10.1002/wat2.1062
- Impact of oil palm development on the integrity of riparian vegetation of a tropical coastal landscape M. Sheaves et al. 10.1016/j.agee.2018.04.011
- Effects of riparian forest removal on the trophic dynamics of a Neotropical stream fish assemblage J. Lobón-Cerviá et al. 10.1111/jfb.12973
- Influence of thermal regime and land use on benthic invertebrate communities inhabiting headwater streams exposed to contrasted shading A. Dohet et al. 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.10.077