|Abstract or Summary
- The inter-relationships of vegetation, soils, and stream channel erosion characteristics were examined in two riparian meadows of the Ochoco National Forest where progressive stream headcut incision is a critical resource management issue and restoration priority. Scientific literature establishes that headcut incision leads to lower groundwater tables, with corresponding shifts in neighboring vegetation from communities tolerant of wetter conditions to those of drier conditions, yet further research is needed in examining the degree headcut height and soil properties control this relationship. By incorporating headcut incision height and soil properties (particle size distribution, percent organic matter, percent soil moisture, and pH) as additional drivers of soil moisture availability, and thus vegetation change, fieldwork included extensive sampling of soils, vegetation, and stream characteristics. Percent canopy cover by vegetation species was surveyed in systematically placed Daubenmire plots along cross-valley transects. Each plot was later assigned a hydric rating score based on weighted percent cover by hydric indicator status (OBL, FACW, etc). Due to the greater degree of water table drawdown associated with more pronounced incision, I hypothesized that change in hydric rating scores of vegetation communities downstream of the headcuts will be positively correlated with the height of headcuts, and less so with change in soil texture. Preliminary results will be highlighted.