Resurrecting the in-stream side of riparian forests

350 210 Stroud Water Research Center

Sweeney, B.W. and J.G. Blaine. 2007. Journal of Contemporary Water Research and Education 136:17–27.

doi: 10.1111/j.1936-704X.2007.mp136001003.x


In this essay, we explore the important role riparian forests play in protecting our streams and rivers in a number of ways:

  1. Why the focus on buffers as barriers pushed the in-stream benefits and services provided by riparian forests from the scientific and political stage,
  2. How the results of a comparative study of 17 forested and deforested stream reaches in eastern North America helped resurrect the recognition of the in-stream benefits provided by riparian forests,
  3. What the implications of that study hold for understanding and managing pollutants from a variety of sources,
  4. Why the newly described benefits of riparian forests should have far-reaching effects for the economic and physical health of human communities, and
  5. How and why the Stroud Water Research Center and other organizations need to communicate that information in ways that will make the public understand the importance of riparian forests and provide the scientific foundation for more informed and effective public policies.


NSF Award No. DEB-0424681 Title: LTREB: Stream ecosystem structure and function within a maturing deciduous forest. Duration: August 2004–July 2009.