Multiscale Patterns of Riparian Plant Diversity and Implications for Restoration

Viers, J.H., A.K. Fremier, R.A. Hutchinson, J.F. Quinn, J.H. Thorne and M.G. Vaghti

Publication Date:

To inform restoration planning, we examined the biogeographic patterns of riparian plant diversity at local and regional scales within a major western U.S.A. drainage, California’s Sacramento—San Joaquin Valley. We analyzed patterns of species richness and complementarity (_-diversity) across two scales: the watershed scale and the floodplain scale. At the watershed scale, spatial patterns of native riparian richness were driven by herbaceous species, whereas woody species were largely cosmopolitan across the nearly 38,000 km2 study area. At the floodplain scale, riparian floras reflected species richness and dissimilarity patterns related to hydrological and disturbance-driven successional sequences. These findings reinforce the importance of concurrently evaluating both local and regional processes that promote species diversity and distribution of native riparian flora. Furthermore, as restoration activities become more prevalent across the landscape, strategies for restoration outcomes should emulate the patterns of species diversity and biogeographic distributions found at regional scales.

Resource Type:
Peer-reviewed Article

Restoration Ecology