The Ecology and Management of Wood in World Rivers

Riparian Management for Wood in Rivers

Kathryn L. Boyer, Dean Rae Berg, and Stan V. Gregory


Abstract.—Riparian and floodplain forests are vital components of landscapes. They are transitional zones (ecotones) between river and upland ecosystems where ecological processes occurring in riparian areas and floodplains connect and interact with those of rivers and streams. These forests are the major source of large wood for streams and rivers. Extensive loss of riparian and floodplain forests around the globe is evident from the dramatically reduced supply of large wood in rivers. Clearly, it is necessary to conserve and restore riparian forests to sustain a supply of wood for rivers. This chapter discusses river and land management practices that are designed to provide a continuous source of large wood for rivers and retain wood once it has entered the channel or floodplain. These management practices include conservation of intact riparian and floodplain forests, restoration of ecological processes necessary to sustain riparian forests in the long term, and management of riparian forests specifically to accelerate recruitment of large wood to rivers and streams.