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Keywords:

  • surface water hydrology;
  • cranberry agriculture;
  • watershed management;
  • Pinelands;
  • environmental impacts;
  • stream-channel morphology

Procopio, Nicholas A., 2010. Hydrologic and Morphologic Variability of Streams With Different Cranberry Agriculture Histories, Southern New Jersey, United States. Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA) 46(3):527-540. DOI: 10.1111/j.1752-1688.2010.00432.x

Abstract:  The creation of reservoirs and the modification of stream channels are common practices used to facilitate the efficient production of cranberries. The potential impacts to hydrologic and geomorphic aspects of streamflow and channel structure have not been adequately assessed. In this study, the streamflow regime of 12 streams and the channel morphologies of 11 streams were compared for study sites in the Pinelands region of New Jersey with upstream active-cranberry bogs, upstream abandoned-cranberry bogs, and basins with no apparent agricultural history. Flow regime metrics included measures of low-flow, median-flow, and bankfull discharge, two measures of streamflow variability (spread and a modified Richards-Baker Flashiness index), and the frequency of overbank flooding. Stream-channel morphology metrics included average bank slope, average bankfull width, average bankfull depth, average bankfull width-to-depth ratio, and average bankfull area. No significant differences between stream types were apparent for any of the metrics. Basin-area normalized streamflow values of all 12 study sites were highly correlated to each other. Significant relationships existed between some of the flow-regime and channel-morphology metrics. Due to the lack of significant differences between stream types, it appears that neither historic nor current cranberry agricultural practices considerably influence flow regimes or the channel morphology of streams in the New Jersey Pinelands.