Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Methods for monitoring the effects of grazing management on bank erosion and channel morphology, Fever River, Pioneer Farm, Wisconsin, 2004

February 10, 2006

Bank erosion is a natural process that occurs in meandering streams (Leopold and others, 1964); however, in the Midwestern United States, historical and present agricultural activities in uplands, riparian areas, and channels have increased erosion (Waters, 1995; Lyons and others, 2000; Simon and Rinaldi, 2000; and Knox, 2001). Reducing streambank erosion is important because sediment carried by streams has adverse environmental effects; for example, sediment carried by streams is a major source of phosphorus (Waters, 1995). Continuous cattle grazing in riparian areas may increase local erosion processes in a meandering stream by removal or trampling of bank vegetation, which in turn affects channel morphology, water chemistry, and fish and aquatic-insect habitat (Kauffman and Krueger, 1984; Fitch and Adams, 1998). However, studies of livestock exclusion from riparian corridors have shown mixed results in reducing bank erosion (Trimble, 1994; Sarr, 2002). Some studies have shown reduced bank erosion after row-cropped or continuously grazed riparian areas are converted to managed grazing (see inset box) (Lyons and others, 2000; Sovell and others, 2000; and Zaimes and others, 2004).

Citation Information

Publication Year 2005
Title Methods for monitoring the effects of grazing management on bank erosion and channel morphology, Fever River, Pioneer Farm, Wisconsin, 2004
DOI 10.3133/fs20053134
Authors Marie C. Peppler, Faith A. Fitzpatrick
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Fact Sheet
Series Number 2005-3134
Index ID fs20053134
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Wisconsin Water Science Center

Related Content