Riparian

Arizona Bay
Arizona Bay, Lake Mohave

PHOTO BY JOSEPH BARNES, UNLV

Long-term Limnological and Aquatic Resource Monitoring for Lakes Mead and Mohave

Category 6:

 

Wetland and riparian habitats associated with Lakes Mead and Mohave contain many water-dependant species such as honey mesquite, screwbean mesquite, catclaw acacia, cottonwood, true willows, wild grape, grasses, sedges, reeds, and other species. Many riparian plant species are phreatophytes whose roots extend into zone of saturation fed by groundwater, while others are species that depend on surface saturated soils such as those found in marshes. These areas are of significant biological importance to several animal species covered under the Clark County Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan including phainopepla, vermillion flycatcher, several species of lizards, and the sidewinder. However, many of these areas are being threatened with risk of degradation through associated human activities such as livestock grazing, off-road vehicle activity, unauthorized firewood gathering, dumping, illegal woodcutting, and groundwater withdrawals. Riparian-area integrity and health are also at risk from wildland fire and invasion of exotic species including red brome and tamarisk.

Strategic Fundamental Objectives:


  • Healthy populations of aquatic dependent wildlife
  • Healthy shoreline dependent native vegetation
 

Management questions best answered by monitoring:

  • What are the trends in distribution, connectivity, and abundance of riparian vegetation (native and non-native)? more
  • To what extent is shoreline tamarisk being affected by tamarisk leaf beetle advancement? more
 

Management questions best answered by research:


  • Is riparian vegetation maintained or restored to a condition that supports key riparian functions? more
  • Is the recruitment of native riparian and wetland plant species sufficient for these communities to persist? more
  • What is best mix of native/non-native vegetation to support native wildlife populations? (It is impossible to completely eradicate non-natives, so what should be the target mix?) more
  • What are the best methods for mitigating threats and implementing restoration? more
  • How do stressors impact riparian vegetation? more
  • What are the threats to wetland and riparian communities? more
 

Last updated: February 28, 2015

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