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Title: Riparian habitat change along the Isleta-Belen reach of the Rio Grande

Author: Mount, Joanne; Krausman, William; Finch, Deborah M.;

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. 58-61.

Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)

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

Description: We provide a summary of vegetation changes over a 11-year period (1 984-1 995) in the middle reach of the Rio Grande. Hink and Ohmart (1984) surveyed and mapped riparian vegetation along the middle Rio Grande as part of an extensive biological inventory conducted for the Army Corps of Engineers. We field-assessed and remapped the Isleta-Belen reach in 1995 to determine whether vegetation classes had changed substantially since the Hink and Ohmart survey. Over the past 11 years, the Rio Grande bosque vegetation has aged, and our assessment of structural types documents this aging process. In addition, the exotic woody species, salt cedar (Tamarix chinensis) and Russian olive (Eleagnus angustifolia), have increased in cover, appearing as understories in Rio Grande cottonwood (Populus fremontii var. wislizenii) galleries and as independent vegetational communities. In some cases, these introduced species have replaced other vegetation such as coyote willow (Salix exigua). We also detected evidence of 31 fire events that altered vegetation.

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

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Mount, Joanne; Krausman, William; Finch, Deborah M. 1996. Riparian habitat change along the Isleta-Belen reach of the Rio Grande. 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. 58-61.

 


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