Ecosystem services of riparian restoration: A review of rock detention structures in the Madrean Archipelago Ecoregion

Air, Soil and Water Research
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Abstract

In northwestern Mexico and the southwestern United States, limited water supplies and fragile landscapes jeopardize world-renowned biological diversity. Simple rock detention structures have been used to manage agricultural water for over a thousand years and are now being installed to restore ecohydrological functionality but with little scientific evidence of their success. The impacts, design, and construction of such structures has been debated among local restoration practitioners, management, and permitting agencies. This article presents archeological documentation, local contentions, and examples of available research assessments of rock detention structures in the Madrean Archipelago Ecoregion. A US Geological Survey study to quantify impacts of rock detention structures using remote-sensing analyses, hydrologic monitoring, vegetation surveys, and watershed modeling is discussed, and results rendered in terms of the critical restoration ecosystem services provided. This framework provides a means for comparing management actions that might directly or indirectly impact human populations and assessing tradeoffs between them.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Ecosystem services of riparian restoration: A review of rock detention structures in the Madrean Archipelago Ecoregion
Series title Air, Soil and Water Research
DOI 10.1177/1178622120946337
Volume 13
Year Published 2020
Language English
Publisher Sage Journals
Contributing office(s) Western Geographic Science Center
Description 13 p.
Country Mexico, United States
State Arizona, Chihuahua, New Mexico, Sonora
Other Geospatial Madrean Archipelago Ecoregion
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