Stream Velocity: How it can Affect Riparian Vegetation in the Stoney Creek AreaStream Velocity: How it can Affect Riparian Vegetation in the Stoney Creek Area

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Scholarly level: 
Undergraduate student
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Stoney Creek restoration
Ecological restoration
Stream velocity
Riparian vegetation
Plant diversity

Riparian vegetation is not often the first consideration for improvement when installing a weir into a stream or river. It is less likely to be taken into consideration in comparison to the in stream habitat. As the weirs often times change the stream velocity, this study was created to observe how this change in velocity can affect riparian vegetation in the surrounding Stoney Creek area where weirs were put in to assist salmon spawning. The study was not conducted to illustrate the direct impacts of the weir implementation, but rather the stream velocity on its own. The hypothesis for the procedure was that the differences in stream velocity would correlate to plant biodiversity on land. Due to previous similar research being done in different nonalike areas, it could not be argued whether higher or lower stream velocities would show higher or lower diversity throughout the stream. Random plots along the stream were made in order to observe differences in soil pH, stream velocity beside the plot, and the v riety of plants within the plot. To test soil pH and stream velocity, pH and velocity metres were used. The plants within the plot were identified using a plant identification book, and counted manually. The results showed that there were not many patterns that could be related to differences in stream velocity. Some of the patterns that did occur were the abundance of certain plants in certain areas. The diversities within the plots were also seen to be much higher than the diversity of the overall area. At deeper and slower water levels, the diversities and species richness were the highest. This research allows the effect of human remediations to be analysed. With further research, the full effect of velocity on riparian vegetation as a result of the input of weirs in a stream can be observed.

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