Environmental Factors Correlated with Changes in Riparian Plant Composition along the Santa Clara River Floodplain, California
Masters Thesis by Brian E. Holly
Riparian habitat supports a diverse array of species and is maintained by complex environmental processes. Changes in habitat composition can be an indicator of the health of an ecosystem, which is based on the assumption that an ecosystem, with a diverse suite of plant communities, can support a diverse set of animal species because of the complexity of microhabitats created by the layering of trees, shrubs, and herbaceous and aquatic vegetation (Nautilus Environmental 2005).
The aim of this study was to provide an analysis of habitat conditions and vegetation dynamics in relation to environmental factors and invasive species establishment to discern what changes, if any, occur to a nine-acre southern willow scrub riparian community as a result of the cessation 2.5 million GPD of wastewater. The study began in January of 2009 and ended in February of 2011. Cessation of treated effluent water occurred in May, 2010...
Read the entire thesis in the Watershed Knowledge Base