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Abstract Detail

Ecological Section

Petersen, Christine [1], Black, Scott [2], Baldwin, Lyn [1], Bradfield, Gary, E. [3], Karakatsoulis, John [4].

Assessing the efficacy of buffer strips in sustaining floristic diversity in interior forests.

Small streams (classified as S5 and S6 under provincial laws) make up a large portion of the watershed in interior British Columbia and are ecologically important. Yet these small streams are neglected under the current forestry practise codes. Debate exists over the riparian buffer widths necessary to protect the environment and maintain floristic diversity. The purpose of our research is to examine the effectiveness of different riparian buffer types (continuous, one sided, two-sided & no buffer/clear-cut) and width in maintaining riparian understorey plant community and promoting community reassembly post harvest in the adjacent uplands. We examined 15 riparian sites with differing buffer types and widths in the B.C. Interior Montane Spruce forests. Vascular plant, shrub and bryophyte diversity was determined in both the riparian and adjacent uplands areas using sample lines/transects with a nested microplot design. Initial data analysis with linear regression found that species richness in both the riparian and upland transects varies with buffer width and type. Multivariate ordination found that time since disturbance strongly affected the vegetation in riparian sites lacking a buffer of any width whereas buffer width appears to affect species composition in sites with different buffer types. Future work will include sampling more sites and evaluating the effect of the riparian buffers on plant functional groups. Enhancing our understanding of the ecological factors that influence both the maintenance of riparian plant communities as well as the reassembly of adjacent uplands will provide important guidelines for riparian forestry management practises particularly around small streams.

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1 - Thompson Rivers University, Biological Science, 900 McGill Road, P.O. Box 3010, Kamloops, BC, V2C 5N3, Canada
2 - University of British Columbia, Botany, 3529-6270 University Boulevard, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4, Canada
3 - University of British Columbia, Botany Department, 3529-6270 University Boulevard, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6T 1Z4, Canada
4 - Thompson Rivers University, Natural Resource Science, 900 McGill Road, PO Box 3010, Kamloops, BC, V2C 5N3, Canada

Species Richness
small streams
riparian zones
forestry practises.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 30
Location: 212/SUB
Date: Tuesday, July 29th, 2008
Time: 8:30 AM
Number: 30003
Abstract ID:200

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