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StormwaterA Resource for Scientists, Engineers, and Policy Makers$
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William G. Wilson

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226364957

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226365145.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

Streams and Trees: Riparian Ecosystems

Streams and Trees: Riparian Ecosystems

(p.269) Chapter 12 Streams and Trees: Riparian Ecosystems

William G. Wilson

University of Chicago Press

This chapter describes how forested riparian buffers provide ecosystem services that offset the impacts of urbanization. These trees grow roots that help with stormwater infiltration, and provide organic matter crucial to pulling nutrients out of surface waters, but 30% high intensity urban land use reduces nutrient uptake to one-third of its undisturbed watershed levels. The chapter also shows how healthy riparian ecosystems and forested watersheds help filter sediments from surface runoff and keep streams cool. These natural aspects of riparian buffers remain difficult to replicate in the restoration of degraded urban streams. This chapter also describes the fate of nutrients once they make their way downstream and enter reservoirs, lakes, and estuaries. Added nutrients generally increase primary productivity, but removal processes, including sedimentation and denitrification, are quite effective. Within these water bodies, residence times of about a year reduce both nitrogen and phosphorus export fractions to about 20-30%.

Keywords:   riparian buffers, nutrients, denitrification, sediments, nutrient export, biodiversity

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