Wetlands

, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 451–464 | Cite as

Complex effects of channelization and levee construction on western Tennessee floodplain forest function

  • Scott B. Franklin
  • John A. Kupfer
  • S. Reza Pezeshki
  • Randy Gentry
  • R. Daniel Smith
Article

Abstract

Data on vegetation composition and structure, soil and leaf nutrient pools, soil redox potential, and surface water hydrologic connectivity were collected from floodplains along six river reaches in western Tennessee to examine the effects of channel modifications on associated riparian systems. Comparisons among channelization treatments (non-channelized reaches, channelized and leveed reaches, channelized but non-leveed reaches) and floodplain geomorphology (depression and nondepressional sites) showed that hydrologic connectivity was affected by channelization treatments, particularly leveeing. The disconnected floodplains were drier, maintained higher nutrient pools, and had greater herbaceous biomass than floodplains still connected to channel hydrology. Runoff onto floodplains from the agriculturally dominated landscape of channelized and leveed tributaries, and flooding stress in the form of scour on floodplains along streams without levees may explain the observed pattern. Channel and floodplain hydrologic processes were most strongly connected for unchannelized streams. Unchannelized streams were varied in soil redox potential, water table, and nutrient pools. Vegetation composition reflects both historical hydrologic regimes and disturbances, and thus complex relationships to channel modifications. Results suggest both the subsidy (i.e., nutrient inputs) and the stress of flood events have been altered by anthropogenic activities, but these alterations were greatest in channelized systems compared to unchannelized systems.

Key Words

ecology hydrology nutrient pools productivity soil redox 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Literature Cited

  1. Baldwin, D. S. and A. M. Mitchell. 2000. The effects of drying and re-flooding on the sediment and soil nutrient dynamics of lowland river-floodplain systems: a synthesis. Regulated Rivers: Research & Management 16: 457–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bayley, P. B. 1995. Understanding large river-floodplain ecosystems. Bioscience 45: 153–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Brinson, M. 1981. Primary productivity, decomposition, and consumer activity in freshwater wetlands. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 12: 123–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brookes, A. 1986. Response of aquatic vegetation to sedimentation downstream from river channelization works in England and Wales. Biological Conservation 38: 351–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brookes, A. 1989. Channelized Rivers: Perspectives for Environmental Management. John Wiley, New York, NY, USA.Google Scholar
  6. Brown, R. G. 1988. Effects of wetland channelization on runoff and loading. Wetlands 8: 123–33.Google Scholar
  7. Brunet, R.-C. and K. B. Astin. 2000. A 12-month sediment and nutrient budget in a floodplain reach of the River Adour, southwest France. Regulated Rivers: Research & Management 16: 267–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chesson, P. 1990. Geometry, heterogeneity, and competition in variable environments. Philosophical Transactions: Biological Sciences 330: 165–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Coleman, D. S. and J. A. Kupfer. 1996. Riparian water quality buffers: estimates of effectiveness and minimum width in an agricultural landscape, western Tennessee. Southeastern Geographer 36: 113–27.Google Scholar
  10. Craft, C. B. and W. P. Casey. 2000. Sediment and nutrient accumulation in floodplain and depressional freshwater wetlands of Georgia, USA. Wetlands 20: 323–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Diehl, T. H. 2000. Shoals and valley plugs in the Hatchie River watershed. US Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 00-4279, Denver, CO, USA.Google Scholar
  12. Franklin, S. B., J. A. Kupfer, S. R. Pezeshki, T. Scheff, R. Hanson, and R. Gentry. 2001a. A comparison of hydrology and vegetation between a channelized stream and a nonchannelized stream in western Tennessee. Physical Geography 22: 254–74.Google Scholar
  13. Franklin, S. B., J. A. Kupfer, S. R. Pezeshki, R. van Gentry, and R. Gentry. 2001b. Channelization effects on floodplain functions in western Tennessee. p. 189–201. In R. A. Falconer and W. R. Blain (eds.) River Basin Management. WIT Press, Southhampton, Boston, MA, USA.Google Scholar
  14. Franklin, S. B., J. A. Kupfer, S. R. Pezeshki, R. Gentry, and R. Dan Smith. 2009. Efficacy of the Hydrogeomorphic Model (HGM): a case study from western Tennessee. Ecological Indicators 9: 267–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gergel, S. E., M. D. Dixon, and M. G. Turner. 2002. Effects of altered disturbance regimes: levees, floods, and floodplain forests on the Wisconsin River. Ecological Applications 12: 1755–1770.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Giller, P. S. 2005. River restoration: seeking ecological standards. Editor’s introduction. Journal of Applied Ecology 42: 201–07.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hodges, J. D. 1998. Minor alluvial floodplains. p. 325–43. In M. G. Messina and W. H. Conner (eds.) Southern Forested Wetlands: Ecology and Management. Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton, FL, USA.Google Scholar
  18. Hook, D. D. and C. L. Brown. 1973. Root adaptations and relative flood tolerance of five hardwood species. Forest Science 19: 225–29.Google Scholar
  19. Hosner, J. F. 1960. Relative tolerance of complete inundation of fourteen bottomland tree species. Forest Science 6: 246–51.Google Scholar
  20. Hughes, J. W. and W. B. Cass. 1997. Pattern and process of a floodplain forest, Vermont, USA: predicted responses of vegetation to perturbation. Journal of Applied Ecology 34: 594–612.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hupp, C. R. 1992. Riparian vegetation recovery patterns following stream channelization: a geomorphic perspective. Ecology 73: 1209–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hupp, C. R. and D. E. Bazemore. 1993. Temporal and spatial patterns of wetland sedimentation, west Tennessee. Journal of Hydrology 141: 179–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Jenkins, K. M. and A. J. Boulton. 2003. Connectivity in a dryland river: short-term aquatic macroinvertebrate recruitment following floodplain inundation. Ecology 84: 2708–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Johnson, J. W. 2007. Rivers Under Siege: The Troubled Saga of West Tennessee Wetlands. University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, TN, USA.Google Scholar
  25. Junk, W. J., P. B. Bayley, and R. E. Sparks. 1989. The flood pulse concept in river-floodplain systems. Canadian Special Publication of Fisheries and Aquatic Science 106: 110–27.Google Scholar
  26. Kang, H. and E. H. Stanley. 2005. Effects of levees on soil microbial activity in a large river floodplain. River Research and Applications 21: 19–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kupfer, J. A. and G. P. Malanson. 1993. Observed and modeled directional change in riparian forest composition at a cutbank edge. Landscape Ecology 8: 185–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Landwehr, K. and B. L. Rhoads. 2003. Depositional response of a headwater stream to channelization, east central Illinois, USA. River Research and Applications 19: 77–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lockaby, B. G., A. L. Murphy, and G. L. Somers. 1996. Hydroperiod influences on nutrient dynamics in decomposing litter of a floodplain forest. Soil Science Society of America Journal 60: 1267–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. McCune, B. and M. J. Mefford. 1997. PC-ORD, Multivariate Analysis of Ecological Data, Version 3.0. MjM Software Design, Gleneden Beach, OR, USA.Google Scholar
  31. Mitsch, W. J., C. L. Dorge, and J. R. Wiemhoff. 1979. Ecosystem dynamics and a phosphorus budget of an alluvial cypress swamp in southern Illinois. Ecology 60: 1116–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Mitsch, W. J. and J. G. Gosselink. 1993. Wetlands. Van Nostrand Reinold, New York, NY, USA.Google Scholar
  33. Nakamura, F., T. Sudo, S. Kameyama, and M. Jitsu. 1997. Influences of channelization on discharge of suspended sediment and wetland vegetation in Kushiro Marsh, northern Japan. Geomorphology 18: 279–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Odum, E. P. 1979. Ecological importance of the riparian zone. p. 2–4. In B. R. Johnson and J. F. McCormick (eds.) Strategies for Protection of Floodplain Wetlands and Other Riparian Ecosystems. U.S. Forest Service General Technical Report WO-12, USA.Google Scholar
  35. Orr, C. H., E. H. Stanley, K. A. Wilson, and J. C. Finlay. 2007. Changes in denitrification following reintroduction of flooding in a leveed Midwestern floodplain. Ecological Applications 17: 2365–76.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Oswalt, S. N. and S. L. King. 2005. Channelization and floodplain forests: Impacts of accelerated sedimentation and valley plug formation on floodplain forests of the Middle Fork Forked Deer River, Tennessee, USA. Forest Ecology & Management 215: 69–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Palmer, M. A., E. S. Bernhardt, J. D. Allan, P. S. Lake, G. Alexander, S. Brooks, J. Carr, S. Clayton, C. N. Dahm, J. Follstad Shah, D. L. Galat, S. G. Loss, P. Goodwin, D. D. Hart, B. Hassett, R. Jenkinson, G. M. Kondolf, R. Lave, J. L. Meyer, T. K. O’Donnell, L. Pagano, and E. Sudduth. 2005. Standards for ecologically successful river restoration. Journal of Applied Ecology 42: 208–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Pezeshki, S. R. 1994. Plant response to flooding. p. 280–321. In R. E. Wilkinson (ed.) Plant Environment Interactions. Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York, NY, USA.Google Scholar
  39. Pezeshki, S. R. and P. H. Anderson. 1997. Responses of three bottomland hardwood species with different flood tolerance capabilities to various flooding regimes. Wetlands Ecology and Management 4: 245–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Piégay, H. 1997. Interactions between floodplain forests and overbank flows: data from three piedmont rivers of southeastern France. Global Ecology and Biogeography Letters 6: 187–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Richter, B. D. and H. E. Richter. 2000. Prescribing flood regimes to sustain riparian ecosystems along meandering rivers. Conservation Biology 14: 1467–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Robertson, A. I., P. Bacon, and G. Heagney. 2001. The responses of floodplain primary production to flood frequency and timing. Journal of Applied Ecology 38: 126–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Robertson, P. A., G. T. Weaver, and J. A. Cavanaugh. 1978. Vegetation and tree species patterns near the northern terminus of the southern floodplain forest. Ecological Monographs 48: 249–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Robbins, C. H. and A. Simon. 1983. Man-induced channel adjustment in Tennessee streams. U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report Vol. 82–4098, USA.Google Scholar
  45. SAS. 2003. SAS 9.1. SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC, USA.Google Scholar
  46. Shankman, D. 1996. Stream channelization and changing vegetation patterns in the U.S. coastal plain. Geographical Review 86: 216–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Shankman, D. and T. B. Pugh. 1992. Discharge response to channelization of a coastal plain stream. Wetlands 12: 157–62.Google Scholar
  48. Shankman, D. and S. A. Samson. 1991. Channelization effects on Obion River flooding, western Tennessee. Water Resources Bulletin 27: 247–54.Google Scholar
  49. Sharitz, R. R. and W. J. Mitsch. 1993. Southern floodplain forests. p. 311–72. In W. H. Martin, S. G. Boyce, and A. C. Echternacht (eds.) Biodiversity of the Southeastern United States: Lowland Terrestrial Communities. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, NY, USA.Google Scholar
  50. Simon, A. S. and C. R. Hupp. 1992. Geomorphic and vegetative recovery processes along modified stream channels of West Tennessee. U.S. Geological Survey Report 91-502, USA.Google Scholar
  51. Sparks, R. E. 1995. Need for ecosystem management of large rivers and their floodplains. Bioscience 45: 168–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Steed, R., J. Plyler, and E. Buckner. 2002. The bottomland hardwoods of the Hatchie River, the only unchannelized Mississippi River tributary. p. 543–47. In K. W. Oucalt (ed.) Proceedings of the eleventh biennial southern silvicultural research conference. US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Forest Experiment Station, Asheville, NC, USA. Gen. Tech Report SRS-48.Google Scholar
  53. Steiger, J., E. Tabacchi, S. Dufour, D. Corenblit, and J. -L. Peiry. 2005. Hydrogeomorphic processes affecting riparian habitat within alluvial channel-floodplain river systems: a review for the temperate zone. River Research and Applications 21: 719–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Stoddard, J. L., D. P. Larsen, C. P. Hawkins, R. K. Johnson, and R. H. Norris. 2006. Setting expectations for the ecological condition of streams: the concept of reference condition. Ecological Applications 16: 1267–76.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  55. Tabacchi, E., L. Lambs, H. Guilloy, A. -M. Planty-Tabacchi, E. Muller, and H. Décamps. 2000. Impacts of riparian vegetation on hydrological processes. Hydrological Processes 14: 2959–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. USDA. 1965. Soil survey of Dyer County, Tennessee. USDA Soil Conservation Service, Series 1962 No. 5, Washington, DC, USA.Google Scholar
  57. USDA. 1978. Soil survey of Madison County, Tennessee. USDA Soil Conservation Service. US Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC, USA.Google Scholar
  58. Valett, H. M., M. A. Baker, J. A. Morrice, C. S. Crawford, M. C. Molles, Jr., C. N. Dahm, D. L. Moyer, J. R. Thibault, and L. M. Ellis. 2005. Biogeochemical and metabolic responses to the flood pulse in a semiarid floodplain. Ecology 86: 220–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Van Looy, K., O. Honnay, B. Bossuyt, and M. Hermy. 2003. The effects of river embankment and forest fragmentation on the plant species richness and composition of floodplain forests in the Meuse Valley, Belgium. Belgium Journal of Botany 136: 97–108.Google Scholar
  60. Ward, J. V. and K. Tockner. 1983. Biodiversity: toward a unifying theme for river ecology. Freshwater Biology 46: 807–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Ward, J. V., K. Tockner, D. B. Arscott, and C. Claret. 2002. Riverine landscape diversity. Freshwater Biology 47: 517–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Warner, R. and P. L. Chesson. 1985. Coexistence mediated by recruitment fluctuations: a field guide to the storage effect. The American Naturalist 125: 769–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Society of Wetland Scientists 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Scott B. Franklin
    • 1
    • 2
  • John A. Kupfer
    • 2
    • 3
  • S. Reza Pezeshki
    • 4
  • Randy Gentry
    • 5
  • R. Daniel Smith
    • 6
  1. 1.School of Biological SciencesUniversity of Northern ColoradoGreeleyUSA
  2. 2.Edward J. Meeman Biological Field StationMillingtonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Biology & University of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA
  4. 4.Department of BiologyUniversity of MemphisMemphisUSA
  5. 5.Southeastern Water Resources InstituteThe University of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA
  6. 6.US Army Corps of Engineers Waterways Experiment StationVicksburgUSA

Personalised recommendations