Riparian Vegetation and Stream Impoundment: The Provo River and Jordanelle Reservoir

Non-EPSCoR Presenters: 
Adriana Martinez
Type of Presentation: 
Wed, 2017/04/05
What is the name of the event (if any) where you presented?: 
Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, Boston, MA
Please enter a brief description of your presentation.: 

Following stream impoundment, rivers respond via changes in sediment dynamics, channel morphology, and vegetation distribution. The Jordanelle Dam was built on the Provo River in 1992 after the majority of dam construction in the United States and therefore allows for a large scale GIS analysis using aerial photographs, available before and after construction. To evaluate the effects of the dam, this study examines reach scale channel changes with respect to vegetation distribution and species richness. Post-impoundment, we find that channels downstream of the dam have become more stable, allowing for vegetation colonization, as exhibited in land cover changes from bare soil to grass. This results in greater species richness owing to colonization of a more stable riparian zone, ultimately changing habitat conditions. Identifying and understanding the impacts of the Jordanelle Dam on vegetation is necessary for protecting of this valued ecosystem as rapid development continues.