|Riparian Vegetation Survey Protocol
Source EPA Rapid Bioassessment:
“An acceptable riparian zone includes a buffer strip of a minimum of 18 m (Barton et al. 1985) from the stream on either side. The acceptable width of the riparian zone may also be variable depending on the size of the stream. Streams over 4 m in width may require larger riparian zones. The vegetation within the riparian zone is documented here as the dominant type and species, if known.”
Our base data was conducted by Stephen Rolfsmeier in April of 2007. At this time a series of vegetation types within the riparian corridor were documented. For each an in-depth species list was drafted. Using this primary backbone to work off of, all following collection events have added on to this species list as the seasons change, so do the biota present.
Here is that original document submitted by Rolfsmeier:
Chadron Creek WMA
Aquatic Beds of duckweed Lemna turionifera, Veronica speedwell >>>>>
Emergent Sedge Marsh Nebraska sedge Carex nebrascensis
Sedge Wet Meadow (may represent more than one community at this site) *Redtop Agrostis gigantean, Wooly sedge Care pellita, Three-square bulrush Schoenplectus pungens, Blue vervain Verbena hastate, *Timothy Pleum pretense, Foxtail barley Hordeum jubatum, Field mint >>>>>, Canada Goldenrod >>>>>, Verbena urticifolia
Bulrush Wet Meadow (associated with springs) Three-square bulrush Schoenplectus pungens, Wooly sedge Care pellita, *Redtop Agrostis gigantean
Floodplain/ Terrace *Smooth brome Bromus inermis, *Kentucky bluegrass Poa pratensis, *Quackgrass Elymus repens, *Curly dock Rumex crispus, *Mullein Verbascum thapsus, Lamb’s quarters Chenopodium sp., *Prickly lettuce Lactuca serriola, Yellow sweet clover >>>>, Annual sunflower >>>, Western ragweed >>>>, *Canada thistle Circium arvense, Catnip >>>>, Wheatgrass Agropyron x intermediate, patches of dense weeds including Marsh elder Cyclachaena xanthifolia and *Kochia Kochia scoparia.
Very little woody vegetation: widely scattered Box-elder Acer negundo var. interius and Green ash Fraxinus pennsylvanica. No significant shrub component.
Chadron State Park
Aquatic Submersed Waterweed Elodea Canadensis, White water crow’s-foot Ranunculus longirostris; Emergent *Watercress Nasturtium officinale, Cutleaf water parsnip Berula erecta
Canyon Bottom Woodland Canopy of Cottonwood Populus deltoids 60ft., Green ash Fraxinus pennsylvanica 50ft.; Subcanopy of Box-elder Acer negundo var. interius, American elm Ulmus Americana; Tall shrub layer of Red osier Cornus sericea, Western wild rose Rosa woodsii, Elderberry Sambucus Canadensis, Currant >>>>; Short shrub layer of Wolfberry Symphoricarpos occidentalis; Herbaceous vine layer of Mock cucumber Echinocystis lobata, Riverbank grape Vitis riparia, *Wood vine >>>> ; Herbaceous understory of *Smooth brome Bromus inermis, *Kentucky bluegrass Poa pratensis, *Common plantain Plantago major. A few plantings on banks of *Hybrid crack willow Salix x rubens and ornamental oaks, alders, and birches upstream.
Hussey’s Critter Corner
Aquatic Small area of submersed White water crow’s-foot Ranunculus longirostris; Emergent *Watercress Nasturtium officinale
Sedge Wet Meadow Barely developed in a few tiny spots Blue vervain Verbena hastate
Canyon Bottom Woodland Canopy of Cottonwood Populus deltoids 60+ft, Subcanopy of Green ash Fraxinus pennsylvanica 40+ft., Box-elder Acer negundo var. interius 20+ft., a few American elm Ulmus Americana and Hackberry Celtis occidentalis; no tall shrub layer but a number of green ash Fraxinus pennsylvanica saplings <5 M tall; short shrub layer of Wolfberry Symphoricarpos occidentalis on banks; Woody vine layer of scattered Riverbank grape Vitis riparia; Herbaceous understory layer of *Smooth brome Bromus inermis, Catchweed bedstraw Galium aparine
Aquatic Abundant beds of submersed white water crow’s-foot Ranunculus longirostris; Emergent *Watercress Nasturtium officinale
Emergent Marsh Patches of Softstem bulrush Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani, Bottlebrush sedge Carex hystericina, Nodding beggarticks Bidens cernua
Emergent Sedge Marsh Nebraska sedge Carex nebrascensis, Woolly sedge Carex pellita in places
Sedge Wet Meadow Woolly sedge Carex pellita, *Redtop Agrostis gigantean, Blue vervain Verbena hastate, Late Goldenrod Solidago gigantea, *Curly dock Rumex crispus, Milkweed>>>>
Floodplain/Terrace *Smooth brome Bromus inermis, *Kentucky bluegrass Poa pratensis
Some degraded canyon bottom woods of Green ash Fraxinus pennsylvanica and Box-elder Acer negundo var. interius at rise of terrace on W side of floodplain.
Aquatic Some submerged *Watercress Nasturtium officinale
Emergent Marsh Softstem bulrush Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani, patches of Bottlebrush sedge Carex hystericina with Nodding beggarticks Bidens cernua
Emergent Sedge Marsh Nebraska sedge Carex nebrascensis
Bulrush Sedge Meadow On nearly level round along stream: Three-square bulrush Schoenplectus pungens, Baltic rush Juncus arcticus var. balticus, Woolly sedge Carex pellita
Sedge Wet Meadow On low banks: Woolly sedge Carex pellita, *Redtop Agrostis gigantean
Cottonwood Woodland Type not included in Nebraska community classification, but similar to a G2 community reported from the state—would be worthy of plot work at a later date. Canopy of tall (to 100+ ft) Cottonwoods Populus deltoids; Subcanopy of very scattered Green ash Fraxinus pennsylvanica, American elm Ulmus Americana, one individual of *Russian olive Elaeagnus angustifolia noted; tall shrub layer nearly absent, though one individual of Buffaloberry Shepherdia argentea noted along spring channel west of stream; short shrub layer limited to patches of Wolfberry Symphoricarpos occidentalis on streambanks; herbaceous understory of *Smooth brome Bromus inermis with native forbs noted. *Canada thistle Circium arvense noted on banks associated with concrete rip-rap.
Very interesting spring/stream channel with submersed Chara>>> and Cattail>>> patches west of stream
Aquatic Widely scattered *Watercress Nasturtium officinale
Emergent Sedge Marsh Some small patches of what may be Bottlebrush sedge Carex hystericina seen
Sedge Wet Meadow Narrow bands of *Redtop Agrostis gigantean in places
Canyon Bottom Woodland Canopy of widely scattered Cottonwoods Populus deltoids, some tall American elm Ulmus Americana, and persistent but dying plantings of *Hybrid crack willow Salix x rubens, poorly developed, subcanopy dominant of Box-elder Acer negundo var. interius with some Green ash Fraxinus pennsylvanica; very little shrub developed or tree regeneration, patches of Wolfberry Symphoricarpos occidentalis seen on higher, open terraces; herbaceous understory of * Smooth brome Bromus inermis and Bidens comosa with patches of invasives including *Canada thisle Circium arvense, *Poison hemlock Conium maculatum; *Motherwort Leonurus cardiaca. Conspicuous patches of Maple-leaved goosefoot Chenopodium simplex
Highway 20 Access
Emergent Marsh Some patches of Cattail south of bridge
Sedge Wet Meadow a little bit of *Redtop Agrostis gigantean and Blue vervain Verbena hastata seen, some Leafy bulrush Scirpus pallidus present on bank, probably associated with this community
Some young Green ash Fraxinus pennsylvanica and Willows- stumps of larger trees seen south of bridge. Mock cumcumber Echinocystis lobata climbing them in places. Uplands are highly modified and consist of planted Eurasian grasses including *Tall wheatgrass Thinopyrum ponticum. Bidens vulgata.
Rolfsmeier, Stephen. April 2007 Chadron Creek Watershed species documentation list
Weedon, Dr. Ronald. September 2007
EPA Rapid Bioassessment Protocol. Ch5: Habitat Assessment and Physicochemical Parameters. 5.1.6 Riparian Vegetation