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Video recording of Williard/Schoonover's seminar on March 28, 2012MPEG-4 video


Title:Water Quality Benefits of Riparian Buffers in Southern Illinois Agricultural Watersheds
Author(s):Williard, Karl
Subject(s):riparian zones
agricultural runoff
Abstract:Karl Williard - Professor of Forest Hydrology, Department of Forestry, Southern Illinois University Carbondale. In agricultural watersheds across the U.S. and world, many woody and herbaceous species of riparian vegetation have proven to be effective filters of nutrients and sediment. Over the past decade, we have investigated the water quality impacts of giant cane (Arundinaria gigantea (Walt.) Muhl.) riparian buffers in the Cache River watershed. A series of three field-scale studies evaluated giant cane’s ability to attenuate sediment and nutrients in surface runoff and groundwater. Results showed significant nutrient and sediment reductions within the first 3m of the giant cane buffers, whereas equivalent reductions were observed at ~6m in adjacent forested buffers. Currently, we are scaling this research to the watershed scale with a paired watershed experiment on SIUC farms properties to quantify the water quality benefits of giant cane and native grass buffers in row-crop agricultural watersheds with no artificial drainage. A second area of riparian research has focused on determining the flow characteristics of surface runoff entering riparian areas. In southern Illinois, we found that the vast majority (80 to 100%) of surface runoff from agricultural fields is in a concentrated form when it reaches the riparian zone. Based on results of these studies, we are now designing and evaluating an innovative alternative for riparian buffers to handle concentrated flow: variable width buffers.
Issue Date:2012-03-28
Series/Report:Sustainable Seminar Series
Genre:Presentation / Lecture / Speech
Date Available in IDEALS:2020-04-07

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