Meadow Health

graphic of a pristine meadow landscape

Healthy Meadow: Factors of a pristine meadow include: meadow hydrology, soils and vegetation and interdependent; diverse mosaic of habitat with wet meadow and riparian vegetation; surface flow from snowmelt; high water table; inundation during floods with sediment deposition and attenuated flood flows; subsurface flow of snowmelt; and percolation with groundwater recharge.

Illustrations by Restoration Design Group for American Rivers

graphic of a degraded meadow landscape

Unhealthy Meadow: Factors of a degraded meadow include: reduced natural storage of water; lowering of groundwater table; flood flows confined to channel with no inundation during floods; disconnect of channel from meadow floodplain; reduced percolation; xeric (or dry) vegetation; incised stream channel with increased sediment transport; and compacted soils.

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