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Conclusions:Variability in buffer width across a landscape has important effects on landscape discharge. A variable- width buffer retains less material than a uniform-width buffer of equivalent average width.Thresholds/Learnings:
Conclusions:Generally, mimimum buffer widths may help maintain natural physical and chemical characteristics of resources whereas greater buffer widths may be required to maintain biological components of many wetlands and streams. Fixed width buffers do not consider site-specific conditions, and therefore may not adequately buffer aquatic resources. Variable width buffers, albeit more site specific and effective, are more expensive and offer less predictability for planning purposes.Thresholds/Learnings:Stream buffers should be a minimum of 15 to 30m in width to be effective in protecting the ecological integrity of wetlands and streams.
Synopsis: Riparian buffers, the vegetated region adjacent to streams and wetlands, are thought to be effective at intercepting and reducing nitrogen loads entering water bodies. Riparian buffer width is thought to be positively related to nitrogen removal effectiveness by influencing nitrogen retention or removal. We surveyed the scientific literature containing data on riparian buffers and nitrogen concentration in streams and groundwater to identify trends between nitrogen removal effectiveness and buffer width, hydrological flow path, and vegetative cover. Nitrogen removal effectiveness varied widely. Wide buffers (.50 m) more consistently removed significant portions of nitrogen entering a riparian zone than...