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).
|Title||Methods for monitoring the effects of grazing management on bank erosion and channel morphology, Fever River, Pioneer Farm, Wisconsin, 2004|
|Authors||Marie C. Peppler, Faith A. Fitzpatrick|
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Series Title||Fact Sheet|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Wisconsin Water Science Center|