Presentation Title

Prionium serratums effect on fluvial structure and sediment capture of the Holsloot River

Start Date

November 2016

End Date

November 2016

Location

HUB 302-#184

Type of Presentation

Poster

Abstract

The process of sediment capture reduces erosion and stabilizes stream banks. Previous studies have indicated that Prionium serratum might be a key player of sediment capture and stream stabilization as an ecosystem engineer. We investigated the role of P. serratum and sediment capture on the Holsloot River in the Western Cape of South Africa. We set up transects in three locations with different stream widths on the Holsloot River. Along these transects we measured the density of P. serratum, and the extent of P. serratum cover, as well as sediment capture and stream power. To assess the relationship between P. serratum cover and density and stream power, we used the tennis ball method to find the average stream speed at each location, and we then calculated stream power. We took samples of P. serratum roots to assess sediment capture. Our results suggest there is a correlation between P. serratum density and sediment capture as well as a correlation between sediment capture and stream power. Our results show P. serratum functions as an ecosystem engineer by reducing erosion and stabilizing stream banks. Stream bank stabilization contributes to the prevention of large scale erosion events that facilitate the establishment of invasive species by removing native cover. The establishment of invasive species is a threat to species in the Cape Floristic Province (CFP), and 77% of the species in the CFP are endemic to the Western Cape and found nowhere else on the planet.

Key words: Fluvial Geomorphology, Stream Power, Sediment Capture, ecosystem engineers, Cape Floristic Province, CFP

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Prionium serratums effect on fluvial structure and sediment capture of the Holsloot River

HUB 302-#184

The process of sediment capture reduces erosion and stabilizes stream banks. Previous studies have indicated that Prionium serratum might be a key player of sediment capture and stream stabilization as an ecosystem engineer. We investigated the role of P. serratum and sediment capture on the Holsloot River in the Western Cape of South Africa. We set up transects in three locations with different stream widths on the Holsloot River. Along these transects we measured the density of P. serratum, and the extent of P. serratum cover, as well as sediment capture and stream power. To assess the relationship between P. serratum cover and density and stream power, we used the tennis ball method to find the average stream speed at each location, and we then calculated stream power. We took samples of P. serratum roots to assess sediment capture. Our results suggest there is a correlation between P. serratum density and sediment capture as well as a correlation between sediment capture and stream power. Our results show P. serratum functions as an ecosystem engineer by reducing erosion and stabilizing stream banks. Stream bank stabilization contributes to the prevention of large scale erosion events that facilitate the establishment of invasive species by removing native cover. The establishment of invasive species is a threat to species in the Cape Floristic Province (CFP), and 77% of the species in the CFP are endemic to the Western Cape and found nowhere else on the planet.

Key words: Fluvial Geomorphology, Stream Power, Sediment Capture, ecosystem engineers, Cape Floristic Province, CFP