Title

Ecological characterization of a riparian corridor along the Río Conchos, Chihuahua, Mexico

Abstract

Restoration of riparian areas is an important step toward improving water flow and water quality of the Río Conchos in northern Mexico. To provide background data for restoration decisions we characterized the ecological integrity of a 40-km-long riparian corridor along the middle Río Conchos. The characterization consisted of determining dominant species of trees and shrubs, structure, and quality of riparian habitat using standard transect sampling and a riparian habitat-quality index (QBR index) along the corridor. Our data indicate that willow (Salix nigra) and mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) are the dominant trees in the riparian zone, and that although invasive saltcedar (Tamarix ramosissima) populate nearby agricultural lands and irrigation canals, they have not yet invaded the riparian areas of the middle Río Conchos. Habitat degradation is occurring; the major sources of negative impacts to riparian habitat are, in order, overgrazing, sewage input into the river, and gravel extraction from the river channel.

Department(s)

Geography, Geology, and Planning

Document Type

Article

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1894/0038-4909(2008)53[96:ECOARC]2.0.CO;2

Publication Date

3-1-2008

Journal Title

Southwestern Naturalist

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