Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Day 284: Riparian zone

from Clemens Park North Fork

"A riparian zone or riparian area is the interface between land and a stream. Plant communities along the river margins are called riparian vegetation, characterized by hydrophilic plants. Riparian zones are significant in ecology, environmental management, and civil engineering because of their role in soil conservation, their biodiversity, and the influence they have on aquatic ecosystems. Riparian zones occur in many forms including grassland, woodland, wetland or even non-vegetative. In some regions the terms riparian woodland, riparian forest, riparian buffer zone, or riparian strip are used to characterize a riparian zone. The word "riparian" is derived from Latin ripa, meaning river bank." - from Wikipedia

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