Silva Fennica : quarterly issues : 39(3) : sa393331.htm

Mika Nieminen, Erkki Ahti, Hannu Nousiainen, Samuli Joensuu & Martti Vuollekoski. 2005.

Capacity of riparian buffer zones to reduce sediment concentrations in discharge from peatlands drained for forestry

Silva Fennica 39(3): 331–339

In 1995–2001, the efficiency of riparian buffer zone areas to reduce the concentrations of suspended solids in discharge from peatlands drained for forestry purposes was studied at 7 locations in south-central Finland. The two largest buffer zones reduced the concentrations of suspended solids by > 70%. The efficiency of the three medium-sized buffer zones to reduce through-flow sediment concentrations was 50–60%, but no reduction occurred at the smallest two buffer areas. Thus, the capacity of buffer zones to reduce sediment concentrations was strongly related to their size. However, significant correlations were also found between reduction capacity and inflow water sediment concentrations, although the correlations at the two smallest buffer zones were low. The use of buffer zones in reducing sediment load from peatlands drained for forestry purposes is recommended, but relatively large areas for efficient removal capacity are needed.

Keywords
ditching, erosion, peatlands, riparian buffer zones, suspended solids, water quality protection

Addresses
Nieminen, Ahti, Nousiainen, Vuollekoski, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Vantaa Research Centre, P.O. Box 18, FI-01301 Vantaa, Finland; Joensuu, Forestry Development Centre Tapio, Soidinkuja 4, FI-00700 Helsinki, Finland. E-mail mika.nieminen@metla.fi

Received 31 August 2004 Accepted 31 August 2005
ISSN 0037-5330

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