Impact of a flood on southern california riparian vegetation

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30 Scopus citations


This study assesses flood impacts on riparian vegetation in two watersheds within the Transverse Ranges. Data collected in 1993 were compared to baseline data from 1990 to measure the effect of a 1992 flood. T-tests were used to test for significant post-flood changes in overall vegetation characteristics, and vegetation change was regressed on drainage area to test for spatial variation in flood impacts. Results of means comparisons for the overall data set suggest that the impacts of the flood were insignificant. However, these results in part are artifacts of data agglomeration, as regression results suggest that changes in total cover and diversity are spatially varied, with profound impacts at some downstream sites. The relative cover of most species remained constant, reflecting an environment in which frequent floods help to maintain a vegetation assemblage that is not entirely flood resistant, but at least uniform across species in its degree of resistance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)162-174
Number of pages13
JournalPhysical Geography
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1998


  • California
  • Disturbance
  • Equilibrium
  • Floods
  • Riparian vegetation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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