2.11 Aquatic Habitat and Buffers

Riparian corridors or buffers influence habitat quality for aquatic species in several ways:

  1. Provide woody debris for in-stream habitat structure
  2. Maintain in-stream microclimate (see 2.12)
  3. Provide food for in-stream species
  4. Protect water quality (see 1.0)

Riparian buffers may not be able to maintain desirable aquatic habitat quality in watersheds that are highly developed. Other land use management strategies will need to be used as well.

The graph summarizes some of the research on buffer widths for aquatic habitat functions and can serve as a starting point for design.

DOWNLOAD: 2.11 Guidelines and References (PDF)