Nature and Environment

Because at 160,000 years, the party is just getting started.

Add to My MSN

From the Trees to the Seas

8/14/2013 10:09:00 AM

Tags: food chain, water quality, Earth Gauge, Washington D.C.

stream buffer zoneHeadwater streams channel water from higher elevations into larger streams and eventually the ocean, but there is another way they help literally feed the waters downstream. Small headwater streams are generally surrounded by overhanging vegetation. This riverside plant life is the start of the food chain through which energy flows and is passed between living things as streams connect and grow larger. Vegetation along headwater streams finds its way into the water in the form of branches, leaves, seeds, or even whole trees, and begins to decay.

As the stream widens, the plants and trees hanging over the waterway separate and allow more sunlight to reach the water, promoting the growth of aquatic bacteria, fungi and aquatic insects that thrive on the decaying plant matter. Farther downstream, these are eaten by larger aquatic insects and small fish, which in turn are consumed by even larger fish and other predators in deeper waters. In this way, trees and other plants that border the small headwaters far upstream of the larger rivers and coastal areas are an essential source of nutrients for the living things that feed the rest of the river system’s food chain.

Earth Gauge

Viewer Tip: Help protect streamside forests in your area. Leave a buffer of trees and other plants along waterways when clearing land or planning developments. This forested area should extend at least 25 feet away from the river on either side in order to be most effective at filtering pollutants. Protecting and restoring streamside buffers can be as easy as not mowing of a section of lawn that stretches into this area.  As the lawn overgrows, a streamside habitat will naturally form to help filter rain water runoff and serve as a food source for downstream waters.

Image courtesy of U.S. Forest Service.

Republished from Earth Gauge.



Related Content

Hiking The Ozarks' Lost Valley

Hiking The Ozarks' Lost Valley - Where getting lost is part of the fun! By Mike McArthy of Photozark...

Weatherize Your Home, Collect Stimulus Money

Weatherizing your home saves you money. Just a few simple changes can greatly reduce the amount of e...

Earth Gauge Tip of the Week — Lakeshore Habitat

Tips on how to improve lakeshore habitat conditions by reducing nutrient pollution.

Go Ahead … Use My Home Urinal

Home urinals are catching on. First found in high-end homes, many people are installing them when bu...

Content Tools




Post a comment below.

 

jacoblob
7/9/2014 2:20:58 AM
The river is really good for sailing, at least that is my opinion! http://www.yachtbooker.de/bavaria/Yachtcharter-bavaria-cruiser-33.html

Charlie
6/30/2014 3:44:36 AM
Quel est le secret réelle à l'arrière des doigts volants réels des horloges Cartier secrètes ainsi que des http://www.repliquesmontrefr.eu de poignet Le réel secret est en fait dvds saphir invisibles qui attachaient les doigts réels (ou même tourbillon), les dvds réels ont tendance à être fixé aux choses réelles, l'énergie est effectivement déplacé avec les choses vers les dVD, qui transforment les doigts réels (ou même tournée

billhurt
6/5/2014 2:51:18 AM
I am curious to see what other fishes you have in these deeper waters, maybe you can share some pictures http://www.rechtsanwalt-tipps.de/rechtsanwalt-koeln-1!

alexraul
5/29/2014 2:12:06 AM
I know what you mean in the article, I have the same opinion! Also the landscape is amazing! http://www.yachtbooker.com/Yacht-Charter-majorca-palma-de-mallorca.html

MY COMMUNITY
no image
CountryMommyLove
10/1/2014 10:31:02 AM
no image
CountryMommyLove
10/1/2014 10:23:44 AM
no image
CountryMommyLove
10/1/2014 10:21:48 AM
no image
sera.drevenak
10/1/2014 6:26:36 AM
no image
brocly
10/1/2014 6:15:29 AM
no image
brocly
10/1/2014 6:15:08 AM









Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.