How do forested riparian buffers affect stream ecosystem functioning? (Master)

Last changed: 29 January 2021
The logotype of Crosslink. Illustration.

This Masters Project is part of a wider study (CROSSLINK) investigating riparian buffers and stream ecosystems across Europe. You will contribute to this study by investigating two important stream ecosystem functions in our field sites near Uppsala.

Why is this project important?

A meta‐ecosystem is defined as a set of ecosystems connected by spatial flows of energy, materials, and organisms across ecosystem boundaries. One important meta-ecosystem are streams and their riparian zones. This meta-ecosystem supports unique biodiversity and provides multiple ecosystem services (e.g., water purification, flood protection, and recreational opportunities). However, human impacts frequently damage these ecosystems.

Agriculture occupies the largest fraction of land area in many developed catchments, and this land use often leads to the loss of riparian forest cover, whilst increasing inputs of nutrients and sediment stressors to streams. These changes potentially reduce the resilience of stream ecosystems to future threats, such as climate change.

To mitigate these impacts, forested riparian buffers are increasingly being used as a management tool. This means there is an urgent need for more research regarding the location, extent, and composition of riparian buffers in agricultural catchments.

Project details

This Masters Project is part of a wider study (CROSSLINK) investigating riparian buffers and stream ecosystems across Europe. You will contribute to this study by investigating two important stream ecosystem functions in our field sites near Uppsala. 

One of these ecosystem functions is algal accrual, which is a measurement of the primary production that helps drive aquatic food webs. The other ecosystem function is the transport and retention of fine organic matter, which is also an important basal resource in aquatic food webs. These functions will be related to the presence of riparian buffers and their properties.

Location: SLU, Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment, Ultuna
Start date: From April 2018 onwards, dates are flexible.

 

 

Stream in the forest. Photo.
A forested stream near Rasbokil in Uppland. Photo: Francis Burdon.
Tiles with algal growth. Photo.
Tiles with algal growth. Photo.

Facts:

Masters Project, 30 credits in Ecology.

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