Restoration Webinar Series: Biology as an Equal Partner in Stream Restoration
Learn about the Stream Evolution Triangle, a conceptual model for river restoration science that accounts for the influences of geology, hydrology, and biology.
The foundations of river restoration science rest comfortably in the fields of geology, hydrology, and engineering—and yet the impetus for many, if not most, stream restoration projects is biological recovery.
While Lane’s stream balance equation captures the dynamic equilibrium between the amount of stream flow, the slope of the channel, and the amount and caliber of sediment, it completely ignored biology. Similarly, most stream classification systems used in river restoration today do not explicitly include biology as a primary driver for stream form and process.
This webinar introduces the Stream Evolution Triangle, a conceptual model that accounts for the influences of geology, hydrology, and biology, was created to address this imbalance. The model casts biology as an equal partner to both geology and hydrology, forming a triumvirate that governs stream morphology and evolution.
The inclusion of biology leads to improved understanding of stream evolution and adjustment following natural and human-caused disturbances, including stream restoration projects. The aim is not to exclude or supersede any existing models, but rather to create a broader space that expands and supports thought outside of the traditional box.
About the Restoration Webinar Series
The Restoration Webinar Series, hosted by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is a venue for disseminating new approaches, best management practices and innovative restoration techniques to some of our nation’s greatest restoration challenges. The series covers a broad spectrum of topics including: planning and implementing restoration projects; project monitoring and evaluation at multiple time scales; accounting for a changing climate in restoration; regional restoration planning and priority setting; and permitting.