Use of the AccuPAR ceptometer to quantify effects of riparian vegetation removal on stream energy balance

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Courtesy of Decagon Devices, Inc.

When the vegetation along a stream bank is removed, the solar load on the stream increases. This results in increased stream water temperature. Elevated stream temperatures degrade freshwater habitats, shifting species composition, and often endangering some of the species that live in the stream. An increasing awareness of this problem has led to the
creation of riparian strips to shade streams when timber is harvested or prescribed burns are undertaken. The challenge is to know how much shade is needed, and how large to make the strips.

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