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Publication Information

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Title: The Middle Rio Grande: Its ecology and management

Author: Whitney, Jeffery C;

Date: 1996

Source: In: Shaw, Douglas W.; Finch, Deborah M., tech coords. Desired future conditions for Southwestern riparian ecosystems: Bringing interests and concerns together. 1995 Sept. 18-22, 1995; Albuquerque, NM. General Technical Report RM-GTR-272. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. p. 4-21.

Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: The Middle Rio Grande (MRG) riparian forest, or "bosque", represents the largest cottonwood gallery riparian forest in the southwestern United States. This reach of the Rio Grande extends from Cochiti Dam downstream 260 Km to San Marcial, New Mexico. It constitutes 8% of the river’s total length and 34% of if its length in New Mexico. The valley traverses three major biotic communities, as defined by Brown and Lowe (1980). The MRG reach can be subdivided into 4 reaches which coincide roughly with the 4 geologic basins or "grabens" along this portion of the Rio Grande Rift. This system has been affected by man’s activities throughout prehistoric and modern eras. The Rio Grande is regulated for water supply (primarily irrigation) and flood control. The effects of this interaction have contributed to the character of the riparian ecosystem in its current expression. Over 40% of New Mexico’s population lives within the MRG reach. This paper will discuss the climate, geology, hydrology, subsequent river morphology, and anthropogenie factors which contribute to the past and current expressions of the riparian habitat associated with the Middle Rio Grande.

Keywords: riparian ecosystems, human dimensions, hydrology, ecology, history, restoration

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Whitney, Jeffery C 1996. The Middle Rio Grande: Its ecology and management. In: Shaw, Douglas W.; Finch, Deborah M., tech coords. Desired future conditions for Southwestern riparian ecosystems: Bringing interests and concerns together. 1995 Sept. 18-22, 1995; Albuquerque, NM. General Technical Report RM-GTR-272. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. p. 4-21.

 


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