Riparian vegetation recovery in the blast and airfall tephra zones of Mount St. Helens, Washington Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/pz50h156s

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  • Riparian vegetation patterns within the blast, downstream of blast, and airfall tephra zones of Mount St. Helens are related to initial and secondary volcanic disturbance, post-eruption fluvial landforms, channel geometry, and streamflow characteristics. Vegetation patterns were determined from species presence observed on transects across landforms developed along the streams. Distinct species distribution patterns were found on three common geomorphic landforms: active channel, lower terrace-floodplain and upper terrace. Plant cover and species diversity vary greatly among landfornis and among volcanic disturbance zones. Vegetation recovery was negligible recovery at themost severely Impacted sites but approached pre-eruption values in the Airfall Tephra Zone. The large between- and within-site variation in vegetation parameters is controlled by fluvial erosion and sedimentation affecting substrate stability and microsite suitability. At all sites, vegetation establishment near the active channel 'is greatly restricted by fluvial erosion and tephra deposition. Rhizomatous and prolifically seeding species were most common on highly altered landforms.
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