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Relationships between riparian buffer widths and the effects of logging on stream habitat, invertebrate community composition and fish abundance
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-25, 23:18 authored by Davies, PE, Nelson, M
Impacts from the logging of Eucalyptus forest on stream habitat, macroinvertebrate abundance and diversity, and fish abundance were surveyed in Tasmania, Australia. Forty-five pairs of sites from 34 streams of greater than or equal to 2.5 km squared of catchment area were each sampled once during summer in the period 1990-92. Each site pair consisted of an 'impacted' site downstream of a logging treatment and an upstream or closely matched 'paired control' site. Site pair treatments encompassed two logging methods (cable and conventional) with a range of riparian buffer strip widths (0-50 m) and included unlogged controls. Differences between site pair variables were used as test statistics for the detection of logging impacts. Logging significantly increased riffle sediment, length of open stream, periphytic algal cover, water temperature and snag volume. Logging also significantly decreased riffle macroinvertebrate abundance, particularly of stoneflies and leptophlebiid mayflies, and brown trout abundance. All effects of logging were dependent on buffer strip width and were not significantly affected by coupe slope, soil erodibility or time (over one to five years) since logging. All impacts of logging were significant only at buffer widths of <30 m. Minimum buffer widths for eliminating logging impacts on stream habitats and biota are discussed.
Publication titleAustralian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research