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Title: Functional objectives for stream restoration
Authors: Fischenich, J. Craig, 1962-
Keywords: Watershed management
Stream restoration
Riparian restoration
Publisher: Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Series/Report no.: Technical Note (Ecosystem Management and Restoration Research Program (U.S.)) ; no. ERDC TN-EMRRP SR-52
Abstract: The National Research Council (1996) defined restoration as “the return of the form and function of an ecosystem to its predisturbance condition…” This definition presents two challenges when working in today’s environment. First, the significant hydrological changes and infrastructure encroachments found in many watersheds often prevent the reestablishment of the stream form to a condition prior to disturbance. These streams have a new form consistent with the altered conditions, and may not be able to maintain functions associated with a pre-disturbance condition. Second, while the general concept of “functions” can be grasped by most, the specific functions provided by streams and riparian corridors have yet to be defined in a manner that can serve as a basis for assessment, design, and management. The recommendations presented in this document center on the recognition that the character of stream systems (and, thus, their value or potential to support certain uses) is a result of a set of dynamic and interrelated processes referred to as functions in this report. Fifteen critical functions were identified by a committee of U.S. and international scientists, engineers, and practitioners, and were synthesized into a framework for ecosystem evaluation. Understanding the basic functions of streams and riparian corridors provides planners and designers with a concise and effective basis from which to evaluate proposed projects, and offers several powerful advantages over assessments that focus upon beneficial uses. Use of functions and processes can be elegantly incorporated within a systems approach, enhancing understanding, enabling predictions, and supporting management decisions. This report presents the functional framework and discusses ways in which the framework can be applied to support the Corps’ Ecosystem Restoration and Urban Flood Damage Reduction Programs.
Description: Technical Note
Gov't Doc #: ERDC TN-EMRRP SR-52
Rights: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited
Size: 18 pages/324 KBs
Types of Materials: PDF/A
Appears in Collections:Technical Note

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