Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 7531
Title: Wood placement in river restoration:  fact, fiction, and future direction
Author: P. Roni, T. J. Beechie, G. R. Pess, K. Hanson
Publication Year: 2014
Journal: Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Volume: 72
Issue: 3
Pages: 466-478
Keywords: restoration,wood,habitat,instream

 Despite decades of research on wood in rivers, the addition of wood as a river restoration technique remains controversial. We reviewed the literature on natural and placed wood to shed light on areas of continued debate. Research on river ecology demonstrates that large woody debris has always been a natural part of most rivers systems. While a few studies have reported high structural failure rates (>50%) of placed instream wood structures, most studies have shown relatively low failure rates (< 20%) and that placed wood remains stable for several years, though long-term evaluations of placed wood are rare. The vast majority of studies on wood placement have reported improvements in physical habitat (e.g., increased pool frequency, cover, habitat diversity). Studies that have not reported improvements in physical habitat often found that watershed processes (e.g., sediment, hydrology, water quality) had not been addressed. Finally, most evaluations of fish response to wood placement have shown positive responses for salmonids, though few studies have looked at long-term watershed-scale response or studied a wide range of species.


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Theme: Habitats to Support Sustainable Fisheries and Recovered Populations
Foci: Develop effective and efficient habitat restoration and conservation techniques.