Aquatic Sciences

, Volume 78, Issue 3, pp 605–614 | Cite as

Vegetation of riprapped revetments along the freshwater tidal Hudson River, New York

  • David L. Strayer
  • Erik Kiviat
  • Stuart E. G. Findlay
  • Nancy Slowik
Research Article


Riprapped revetments are a common shore defense along lakes, rivers, estuaries, and the ocean, but little is known about the ecology of these structures. We studied the amount and composition of vascular vegetation on riprapped revetments along the freshwater tidal Hudson River, New York. Cover, species richness, and species composition of vegetation varied greatly across the 21 study sites, from nearly barren sites to densely vegetated sites. The flora was split about equally between native and nonnative species, and vines were especially well represented. Vegetation cover and composition were correlated with the age, slope, particle size, and roughness of revetments, as well as site exposure and local management practices. We suggest that the ecological functions provided by revetment vegetation vary enormously from site to site along the Hudson, and could be enhanced by deliberate design and management.


Cover Estuary Management Nonnative Revetment Riparian Riprap Species richness Vegetation 



We thank the National Estuarine Research Reserve System Science Collaborative for funding, John DeBella, Angela Cross, Mark Leopold, Laura Lukas, Heather Malcom, Erica Morgan, Charlotte Nash, Rich Pendleton, Gretchen Stevens, and Jeff Walker for technical help and advice, and three reviewers and the editor for helpful suggestions. Marjorie Groten, Tom Lynch, and Sacha Spector provided useful information about study sites. This paper is a contribution to the program of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies and a Bard College Field Station—Hudsonia contribution.

Supplementary material

27_2015_445_MOESM1_ESM.docx (29 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 29 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Basel 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • David L. Strayer
    • 1
  • Erik Kiviat
    • 2
  • Stuart E. G. Findlay
    • 1
  • Nancy Slowik
    • 2
  1. 1.Cary Institute of Ecosystem StudiesMillbrookUSA
  2. 2.Hudsonia Ltd.AnnandaleUSA

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