can be broadly
defined as the
body of water
(Price & Lovett 2002)
Paradeke Oya, Gampola
Structure and characteristics of riparian lands
• Shade and lower stream temperatures
• Filter and sorb pollutants
• Provide areas for sediment deposition
• Promote microbial decomposition of organic
matter and nutrients
• Minimize stream bank erosion
• Provide habitat for biodiversity
• Open wildlife corridors
• Enhance infiltration replenishing groundwater
• Increase reservoir life (Chin 2012)
Major components of riparian vegetation that affect stream water chemistry
(Dosskey et al. 2010)
Soil Organic Matter is a
biomembrane that filters
sediment load in rivers,
and is a major sink for
atmospheric CO2 and CH4
Processes through which major components of vegetation
in riparian ecosystems affect stream water chemistry
(Dosskey et al. 2010)
• Deep rooted trees in biologically active zones
remove Nitrates in shallow ground water.
Hydraulic residence time critical (Melvani, 2011).
• Nitrate removal minimal when water moves to
regional groundwater and emerges as base
flow(Dosskey et al. 2010).
• For sediment borne P retention, fine sediment
control coupled with use of vegetation, can
increase P uptake into plant tissue (Dosskey et al. 2010)
• However, riparian forests have low net dissolved P
retention (Dosskey et al. 2010).
• Non nutrient chemicals absorbed from soil by plant
roots. Heavy metals (e.g., Cd, Cr, Hg, Ni, Pb),
metalloids (e.g., As, Se), and other elements (e.g.: B,
Cs, Sr) (Dosskey et al. 2010).
• Riparian buffers could reduce electrical
conductivity (Melvani, 2011).
Riparian zone destruction
Illicit felling, dumping ground for garbage and erosion
Lemastota Oya, Haputale
Riparian forest buffer systems (RFBS)
reduce Non Point Source pollution after it leaves
source area but before it reaches the stream
important on 1st and 2nd order streams where
intense interaction between terrestrial and
aquatic ecosystems occurs
slope of the RFBS main factor limiting the
effectiveness of sediment removal
use of native vegetation a key factor (Lowrance & Vellidis 2004).
Vegetated riparian zones can
strongly influence the chemical
contents of adjacent
streams, particularly through the
removal of nutrients
in runoff from agricultural uplands
Maragala Oya, Maragalakanda, Moneragala
RESTORATION WITH COMMUNITY
Riparian forest buffers for gullies in forest
gardens on Maragalakanda, Moneragala
Arumugam’s forest garden
Arumugam’s gully restored
Jane Nona’s garden
Podisingho’s garden with Spathyphyllum patini planted on stream bank
Maha Oya, sub catchment
in Great Valley, Deltota
Planting in year 1
RESTORATION WITH PRIVATE COMPANY
Chin, DA 2012, Water-Quality Engineering in Natural Systems : Fate and Transport
Processes in the Water Environment, 2 edn, Wiley, New York.
Dosskey, MG, Vidon, P, Gurwick, NP, Allan, CJ, Duval, TP & Lowrance, R 2010, 'The Role
of Riparian Vegetation in Protecting and Improving Chemical Water Quality in
Streams1', JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association, vol. 46, no. 2,
Lal, R 2004, 'Soil Carbon Sequestration Impacts on Global Climate Change and Food
Security', Science, vol. 304 no. 5677 pp. 1623-7.
, R & Vellidis, G 2004, 'Riparian forest buffers: hype? Or the silver bullet for NPS
pollution control?', Resource: Engineering & Technology for a Sustainable World, vol.
11, no. 10, p. 7+.
Melvani, K 2011, 'Bioremediation of Nitrates in Ground Water', M.Sc. thesis,
University of Peradeniya
Price, P. and Lovett, S. 2002, ‘Managing riparian land’, Fact Sheet 1, Land & Water