Water Management and Cottonwood Forest Dynamics Along Prairie Streams

  • Jonathan M. Friedman
  • Michael L. Scott
  • Gregor T. Auble
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 125)


Because riparian ecosystems are the principal natural forest in the prairie, they provide important habitat for many vertebrates (Brinson et al. 1981). Thus changes in the abundance and patterns of riparian forest affect the fauna of the Great Plains. Water management in the Great Plains has had important and variable impacts on riparian vegetation. For example, reductions in peak streamflow have increased the area occupied by bottomland forest in some cases and decreased it in others. This variability can be explained by placing the relation between flow and tree establishment in the appropriate geomorphic context.


Great Plain Riparian Vegetation Riparian Forest Channel Narrowing Braided Channel 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Aikman, J.M. 1926. Distribution and structure of the forests of eastern Nebraska. Univ. Neb. Stud. 26:1–95.Google Scholar
  2. Akashi, Y. 1988. Riparian vegetation dynamics along the Bighorn River, Wyoming. M.S. thesis. Univ. Wyoming, Laramie.Google Scholar
  3. Albertson, F.W., and J.E. Weaver. 1945. Injury and death or recovery of trees in prairie climate. Ecol. Monogr. 15:395–433.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Anderson, B.W. 1971. Man’s influence on hybridization in two avian species in South Dakota. Condor 73:342–347.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Arend, J.L. 1948. Influences on redcedar distribution in the Ozarks. Southern Forestry Notes, No. 58, Southern Forest Experiment Station, U.S. For. Serv., New Orleans, LA.Google Scholar
  6. Barclay, J.S. 1980. Impact of stream alterations on riparian communities in southcentral Oklahoma. FWS/OBS-80/17. U.S. Fish and Wildl. Serv. Biol. Serv. Prog., Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  7. Berg, R.K. 1981. Fish populations of the wild and scenic Missouri River, Montana. Restoration Proj. FW-3-R. Job 1-A. Montana Dept. Fish, Wildl. and Parks., Helena, MT.Google Scholar
  8. Bergman, D.L., and C.W. Sullivan. 1963. Channel changes on Sandstone Creek near Cheyenne, Oklahoma. U.S. Geol. Surv. Prof. Pap. 475-C. Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  9. Bradley, C.E., and D.G. Smith. 1986. Plains cottonwood recruitment and survival on a prairie meandering river floodplain, Milk River, southern Alberta and northern Montana. Can. J. Bot. 64:1433–1442.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bragg, T.B., and A.K. Tatschl. 1977. Changes in flood-plain vegetation and land use along the Missouri River from 1826 to 1972. Environ. Manage. 1:343–348.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Brinson, M.M., B.L. Swift, R.C. Plantico, and J.S. Barclay. 1981. Riparian ecosystems: their ecology and status. FWS/OBS-81/17. U.S. Fish and Wildl. Serv. Biol. Serv. Prog., Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  12. Brock, J.H. 1994. Tamarix spp. (Salt Cedar), an invasive exotic woody plant in arid and semi-arid riparian habitats of western USA. Pp. 27–44 in L.C. de Waal, L.E. Child, P.M. Wade, and J.H. Brock, eds. Ecology and management of invasive riverside plants. John Wiley & Sons, New York.Google Scholar
  13. Brimer, W.E. 1931. The vegetation of Oklahoma. Ecol. Monogr. 1:99–188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Bunger, M.T., and H.J. Thomson. 1938. Root development as a factor in the success or failure of windbreak trees in the southern high plains. J. For. 36:790–803.Google Scholar
  15. Burger, L.D., L.W. Burger Jr., and J. Faaborg. 1994. Effects of prairie fragmentation on predation on artificial nests. J. Wildl. Manage. 58:249–254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Busch, D.E., and S.D. Smith. 1995. Mechanisms associated with decline of woody species in riparian ecosystems of the southwestern U.S. Ecol. Monogr. 65:347–370.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Craig, M.R., and G.P. Malanson. 1993. River flow events and vegetation colonization of point bars in Iowa. Phys. Geog. 14:436–448.Google Scholar
  18. Cross, F.B., and R.E. Moss. 1987. Historic changes in fish communities and aquatic habitats in plains streams of Kansas. Pp. 155–165 in W.J. Matthews and D.C. Heins, eds. Community and evolutionary ecology of North American stream fishes. Univ. Oklahoma Press, Norman.Google Scholar
  19. Crouch, G.L. 1979. Long-term changes in cottonwoods on grazed and ungrazed plains bottomland in northeastern Colorado. Res. Note RM-370. U.S. For. Serv., Fort Collins, CO.Google Scholar
  20. Currier, P.J. 1982. The floodplain vegetation of the Platte River: phytosociology, forest development, and seedling establishment. PhD dissertation. Iowa State Univ., Ames.Google Scholar
  21. Deters, M.E., and H. Schmitz. 1936. Drought damage to prairie shelterbelts in Minnesota. Minnesota Agric. Exp. Stat. Bull. 329.Google Scholar
  22. Ellison, L., and E.J. Woolfolk. 1937. Effects of drought on vegetation near Miles City, Montana. Ecology 18:329–336.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Everitt, B.L. 1968. Use of the cottonwood in an investigation of the recent history of a flood plain. Am. J. Sci. 266:417–439.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Everitt, B.L. 1995. Hydrologic factors in regeneration of Fremont cottonwood along the Fremont River, Utah. Pp. 197–208 in J.E. Costa, A.J. Miller, K.W Potter, and P.R. Wilcock, eds. Natural and anthropogenic influences in fluvial geomorphology. Geophys. Monogr. 89. Am. Geophys. Union, Washington, DC.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Finch, D.M. 1989. Habitat use and habitat overlap of riparian birds in three elevational zones. Ecology 70:866–880.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Frémont, J.C. 1988. The Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains. Smithsonian Inst. Press, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  27. Friedman, J.M., W.R. Osterkamp, and W.M. Lewis Jr. 1996. The role of vegetation and bed-level fluctuations in the process of channel narrowing. Geomorphology 14:341–351.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Friedman, J.M., W.R. Osterkamp, and W.M. Lewis, Jr. In press. Channel narrowing and vegetation development following a Great-Plains flood. Ecology.Google Scholar
  29. Friedman, J.M., M.L. Scott, and W.M. Lewis Jr. 1995. Restoration of riparian forest using irrigation, artificial disturbance, and natural seedfall. Environ. Manage. 19:547–557.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Goldsmith, L. 1976. Action needed to discourage removal of trees that shelter cropland in the Great Plains. Pp. 12–18 in R.W. Tinus, ed. Shelterbelts of the Great Plains. Proc. of the Symp. Great Plains Agric. Council Publ. 78. Lincoln, NE.Google Scholar
  31. Graf, W.L. 1978. Fluvial adjustments to the spread of tamarisk in the Colorado Plateau region. Geol. Soc. Am. Bull. 89:1491–1501.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. Univ. Kansas Press, Lawrence.Google Scholar
  33. Gregg, J. 1905. Reprint of 1845 original in R.G. Thwaites, ed. Early western travels, 1748–1846. Vol. 20. Part 2 of Gregg’s Commerce of the prairies, 1831–1839. Arthur H. Clark, Cleveland, OH.Google Scholar
  34. Harper, H.J. 1940. Relation of climatic conditions, soil characteristics, and tree development in the southern Great Plains region. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. Proc. 5:327–335.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Hefley, H.M. 1937. Ecological studies on the Canadian River floodplain in Cleveland County, Oklahoma. Ecol. Monogr. 7:345–402.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Hesse, L.W., G.E. Mestl, and J.W. Robinson. 1993. Status of selected fishes in the Missouri River in Nebraska with recommendations for their recovery. Pp. 327–340 in L.W Hesse, C.B. Stalnaker, N.G. Benson, and J.R. Zuboy, eds. Restoration planning for the rivers of the Mississippi River ecosystem. Biol. Rep. 19, October 1993. Natl. Biol. Surv., Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  37. Hughes, E.M.R. 1994. Environmental change, disturbance and regeneration in semi-arid floodplain forests. Pp. 321–345 in A.C. Millington and K. Pye, eds. Environmental change in drylands: biogeographical and geomorphological perspectives. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., New York.Google Scholar
  38. Johnson, R.L. 1965. Regenerating cottonwood from natural seedfall. J. For. 63:33–36.Google Scholar
  39. Johnson, W.C. 1992. Dams and riparian forests: case study from the upper Missouri River. Rivers 3:229–242.Google Scholar
  40. Johnson, W.C. 1994. Woodland expansion in the Platte River, Nebraska: patterns and causes. Ecol. Monogr. 64:45–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Johnson, W.C., R.L. Burgess, and W.R. Keammerer. 1976. Forest overstory vegetation and environment on the Missouri River floodplain in North Dakota. Ecol. Monogr. 46:59–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Kaylor, J.F., C.C. Starring, and C.P. Ditman. 1935. A survey of past plantings. Pp. 39–47 in Possibilities of shelterbelt planting in the Plains region. U.S. For. Serv., Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  43. Knopf, F.L. 1986. Changing landscapes and the cosmopolitism of the eastern Colorado avifauna. Wildl. Soc. Bull. 14:132–142.Google Scholar
  44. Knopf, F.L. 1992. Faunai mixing, faunai integrity, and the biopolitical template for diversity conservation. Trans. N. Am. Wildl. Nat. Resour. Conf. 57:330–342.Google Scholar
  45. Knopf, F.L., and M.L. Scott. 1990. Altered flows and created landscapes in the Platte River headwaters, 1840–1990. Pp. 47–70 in J.M. Sweeney, ed. Management of dynamic ecosystems. N. Cent. Sec. Wildl. Soc, West Lafayette, IN.Google Scholar
  46. Kromm, D.E., and S.E. White. 1992. Groundwater problems. Pp. 44–63 in D.E. Kromm and S.E. White, eds. Groundwater exploitation in the High Plains. Univ. Kansas Press, Lawrence.Google Scholar
  47. Layher, B. 1986. The four deadly sins. Kansas Wildl. 43:32–35.Google Scholar
  48. Leonard, G.J., and P.W. Huntoon. 1974. Groundwater geology of Southwest Nebraska Ground Water Conservation District. Nebraska Water Surv. Pap. 37. Univ. Nebraska, Lincoln.Google Scholar
  49. Lindauer, I.E. 1983. A comparison of the plant communities of the South Platte and Arkansas River drainages in eastern Colorado. Southwest. Nat. 28:249–259.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Luckey, R.R., E.D. Gutentag, EJ. Heimes, and J.B. Weeks. 1988. Effects of future groundwater pumpage on the High Plains Aquifer in parts of Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming. U.S. Geol. Surv. Prof. Pap. 1400-E. Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  51. Madole, R.F. 1994. Stratigraphic evidence of desertification in the west-central Great Plains within the past 1000 yr. Geology 22:483–486.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Martin, T.E. 1981. Limitation in small habitat islands: chance or competition? Auk 98:715–734.Google Scholar
  53. Meffe, G.K. 1984. Effects of abiotic disturbance on coexistence of predator-prey fish species. Ecology 65:1525–1534.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Merkel, D.L., and H.H. Hopkins. 1957. life history of salt cedar (Tamarix gallica L.) Trans. Kansas Acad. Sci. 60:360–369.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Moss, E.H. 1938. Longevity of seed and establishment of seedlings in species of Populus. Bot. Gazette 99:529–542.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Nadler, C.T., and S.A. Schumm. 1981. Metamorphosis of South Platte and Arkansas rivers, eastern Colorado. Phys. Geog. 2:95–115.Google Scholar
  57. Noble, M.G. 1979. The origin of Populus deltoïdes and Salix interior zones on point bars along the Minnesota River. Am. Midl. Nat. 102:59–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Northrop, W.L. 1965. Republican River channel deterioration. Pp. 409–424 in Proc. Federal Interagency Sedimentation Conf. 1963. U.S. Dept. Agric. Misc. Publ. 970. Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  59. Olson, T.E., and F.L. Knopf. 1986. Naturalization of Russian-olive in the western U.S. W. J. Appl. For. 1:65–69.Google Scholar
  60. Osterkamp, W.R. 1978. Gradient, discharge, and particle-size relations of alluvial channels in Kansas, with observations on braiding. Am. J. Sci. 278:1253–1268.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Osterkamp, W.R., and J.E. Costa. 1987. Changes accompanying an extraordinary flood on a sandbed stream. Pp. 201–224 in L. Mayer and D. Nash, eds. Catastrophic flooding. Allen & Unwin, Boston.Google Scholar
  62. Patton, P.C., and S.A. Schumm. 1981. Ephemeral-stream processes: implications for studies of quaternary valley fills. Quaternary Res. 15:24–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Pelton, W.L. 1976. Windbreak studies on the Canadian prairie. Pp. 64–68 in R.W. Tinus, ed. Shelterbelts of the Great Plains. Proc. of the Symp. Great Plains Agric. Council Publ. 78. Lincoln, NE.Google Scholar
  64. Read, R.A. 1958. The Great Plains shelterbelts in 1954. Great Plains Agric. Council Publ. 16. Lincoln, NE.Google Scholar
  65. Read, R.A. 1976. Provenance testing and introductions. Pp. 147–153 in R.W Tinus, ed. Shelterbelts of the Great Plains. Proc. of the Symp. Great Plains Agric. Council Publ. 78. Lincoln, NE.Google Scholar
  66. Reily, P.W., and W.C. Johnson. 1982. The effects of altered hydrologic regime on tree growth along the Missouri River in North Dakota. Can. J. Bot. 60:2410–2423.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Rood, S.B., C. Hillman, T. Sanche, and J.M. Mahoney. 1994. Clonal reproduction of riparian cottonwoods in southern Alberta. Can. J. Bot. 72:1766–1770.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Rood, S.B., and J.M. Mahoney. 1990. Collapse of riparian poplar forests downstream from dams in western prairies: probable causes and prospects for mitigation. Environ. Manage. 14:451–464.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Rood, S.B., and J.M. Mahoney. 1995. River damming and riparian cottonwoods along the Marias River, Montana. Rivers 5: 195–207.Google Scholar
  70. Rood, S.B., J.M. Mahoney, D.E. Reid, and L. Zilm. In press. Instream flows and the decline of riparian cottonwoods along the St. Mary River, Alberta. Can. J. Bot. 73:1250–1260.Google Scholar
  71. Schumm, S.A. 1969. River metamorphosis. J. Hydraulics Div. Am. Soc. Civil Engineers 95:255–273.Google Scholar
  72. Schumm, S.A., and R.W. lichty. 1963. Channel widening and floodplain construction along Cimarron River in southwestern Kansas. U.S. Geol. Surv. Prof. Pap. 352-D. Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  73. Scott, M.L., G.T. Auble, and J.M. Friedman. In press. Flood dependency of cottonwood establishment along the Missouri River, Montana, USA. Ecol. Appl.Google Scholar
  74. Scott, M.L., J.M. Friedman, and G.T. Auble. 1996. Fluvial process and the establishment of bottomland trees. Geomorphology 14:327–339.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Scott, M.L., M.A. Wondzell, and G.T. Auble. 1993. Hydrograph characteristics relevant to the establishment and growth of western riparian vegetation. Pp. 237–246 in H.J. Morel-Seytoux, ed. Proc. 13th Ann. Am. Geophys. Union Hydrology Days. Hydrology Days Publ., Atherton, CA.Google Scholar
  76. Sedgwick, J.A., and F.L. Knopf. 1989. Demography, regeneration, and future projections for a bottomland cottonwood community. Pp. 249–266 in R.R. Sharitz and J.W. Gibbons, eds. Freshwater wetlands and wildlife. U.S. Dept. Energy. DE 90005384. NTIS, Springfield, VA.Google Scholar
  77. Segelquist, C.A., M.L. Scott, and G.T. Auble. 1993. Establishment of Populus deltoides under simulated alluvial groundwater declines. Am. Midl. Nat. 130:274–285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Shafroth, P.B., G.T. Auble, and M.L. Scott. 1995a. Germination and establishment of the native plains cottonwood (Populus deltoïdes Marshall subsp. monilifera) and the exotic Russian-olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia L.). Conserv. Biol. 9:1169–1175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Shafroth, P.B., M.L. Scott, E.D. Eggleston, G.T. Auble, J.M. Friedman, and L.S. Ischinger. 1995b. Responses of mature plains cottonwood (Populus deltoïdes ssp. monilifera) to groundwater level changes. Pp. 55–56 in Wetland understanding, wetland education. 16th Ann. Meeting Soc. Wetland Sci. (Abstract), Lawrence, KS.Google Scholar
  80. Smith, D. 1976. Effect of vegetation on lateral migration of anastomosed channels of a glacial meltwater river. Geol. Soc. Am. Bull. 87:857–860.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Smith, H.T.U. 1940. Notes on historic changes in stream courses of western Kansas, with a plea for additional data. Trans. Kansas Acad. Sci. 43:299–300.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Snyder, W.D., and G.C. Miller. 1991. Changes in plains cottonwoods along the Arkansas and South Platte rivers—eastern Colorado. Prairie Nat. 23:165–176.Google Scholar
  83. Sprackling, J.A., and R.A. Read. 1979. Tree root systems in eastern Nebraska. Nebraska Conserv. Bull. 37. Lincoln, NE.Google Scholar
  84. Stromberg, J.C. 1993. Riparian mesquite forests: a review of their ecology, threats, and recovery potential. J. Arizona-Nevada Acad. Sci. 27:111–124.Google Scholar
  85. Stromberg, J.C., B.D. Richter, D.T. Patten, and L.G. Wolden. 1993. Response of a Sonoran riparian forest to a 10-year return flood. Great Basin Nat. 53:118–130.Google Scholar
  86. Teskey, R.O., and T.M. Hinckley. 1978. Impact of water level changes on woody riparian and wetland communities; vol. VI: plains grassland region. FWS/OBS-78/89. U.S. Fish and Wildl. Serv. Biol. Serv. Prog. Columbia, MO.Google Scholar
  87. Thomson, G.W., and H.G. Hertel. 1981. The forest resources of Iowa in 1980. Proc. Iowa Acad. Sci. 88:2–6.Google Scholar
  88. Tyree, M.T., K.J. Kolb, S.B. Rood, and S. Patino. 1994. Vulnerability to drought-induced cavitation of riparian cottonwoods in Alberta: a possible factor in the decline of the ecosystem? Tree Physiol. 14:455–466.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Walker, R.E., and J.F. Suedkamp. 1977. Status of shelterbelts in South Dakota. South Dakota Dept. Game, Fish and Parks Publ. Pierre.Google Scholar
  90. Ware, E.R., and L.F. Smith. 1939. Woodlands of Kansas. Kansas Agric. Exp. Sta. Bull. 285. Manhattan.Google Scholar
  91. Ware, G.H., and W.T. Penfound. 1949. The vegetation of the lower levels of the floodplain of the South Canadian River in central Oklahoma. Ecology 30:478–484.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Weaver, J.E. 1960. Flood plain vegetation of the central Missouri valley and contacts of woodland with prairie. Ecol. Monogr. 30:37–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. Welcomme, R.L. 1979. Fisheries ecology of floodplain rivers. Longman, New York.Google Scholar
  94. White, P.S. 1979. Pattern, process, and natural disturbance in vegetation. Bot. Rev. 45:229–299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  95. Williams, G.P., and M.G. Wolman. 1984. Downstream effects of dams on alluvial rivers. U.S. Geol. Surv. Prof. Pap. 1286. Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  96. Winship, G.P. 1904. The journey of Coronado, 1540–1542. A. S. Barnes, New York.Google Scholar
  97. Wolman, M.G., and R. Gerson. 1978. Relative scales of time and effectiveness of climate in watershed geomorphology. Earth Surface Processes 3:189–208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  98. Wolman, M.G., and J.P. Miller. 1960. Magnitude and frequency of forces in geomorphic processes. J. Geol. 68:54–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  99. Zimmerman, R.C. 1969. Plant ecology of an arid basin, Tres Alamos-Redington area southeastern Arizona. U.S. Geol. Surv. Prof. Pap. 485-D. Washington, DC.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan M. Friedman
  • Michael L. Scott
  • Gregor T. Auble

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations