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Restoration of an incised mountain stream using artificial step-pool system

Author(s): Guo-an Yu; Zhao-Yin Wang; Kang Zhang; Xuehua Duan; Tung-Chiung Chang

Linked Author(s): Guoan Yu, Zhaoyin Wang

Keywords: Artificial step-pool system; benthic invertebrates; fluvial morphology; incised mountain stream; restoration

Abstract: A field experiment using an artificial step-pool system was conducted to restore the Diaoga River, a seriously incised mountain stream in Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau, southwest China. Twenty-four artificial steps, designed to mimic natural step forms, were constructed on three stretches of about 260 m length in the middle reach of the river. Channel topography, hydraulic features, aquatic habitats and stream ecology were monitored for 20 months. Following the construction of the artificial step-pool system, the stream bed development coefficient increased significantly. This indicates that actions helped to dissipate flow energy more effectively, enhancing the stability of the stream bed. The step-pools have effectively controlled the incision and stabilized the river morphology. In addition, they have created multiple habitats for different species and increased the habitat diversity. Improvement of the aquatic ecosystem is confirmed by increased density and taxa richness of benthic macro-invertebrates, which are used as an indicator species to evaluate stream ecology.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00221681003704186

Year: 2010

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