MSRA Webinar – Riparian Plant Community and Water Quality Responses at Sites Restored by Legacy Sediment Removal & Floodplain Reconnection, presented by Dr. Vanessa Beauchamp & Dr. Joel Moore

In response to COVID-19, and in attempt to continue offering opportunities for discussion and to promote advancement of the Maryland stream restoration industry, MSRA is excited to announce a series of webinars featuring leading industry researchers and partners. The series will highlight CBT-funded pooled monitoring grant research projects. Stay tuned through our website and social media channels for the series schedule.  Continuing Education Credits will be offered for these events.  We hope you will join us for the fifth webinar in this series:  

When: Thursday, January 14, 2020

Time: 12:00 p.m. –  1:00 p.m.

Where: GoToWebinar 

Following your registration, and prior to the event, you will receive a webinar link from GoToWebinar which will give you access to the webinar.


Cost: Free for members, $10 for non-members


Presenter Bios:

Dr. Vanessa Beauchamp is a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Towson University. She received her B.S. in Biology at the University of California, Irvine and her Ph.D. in Plant Biology at Arizona State University. Her research interests focus on plant community ecology with emphasis on effects of invasive plant species on community diversity and successional processes and the ecology of streamside (riparian) plant communities. A large part of her research program involves practical applications related to management, conservation and restoration of plant communities.

Dr. Joel Moore is an Associate Professor of Geosciences at Towson University. He received his B.A. in Geology and History at Wheaton College and his Ph.D. in Geosciences at Penn State University. Much of his research focus on water quality and biogeochemistry in streams as affected by nutrient inputs, stream restoration, urbanization, and deicing salts. As a result, he has worked with numerous state and regional regulatory and management groups including the Maryland Department of Environment and reservoir technical groups.

Presentation Abstract:


Vanessa Beauchamp, Joel Moore, Patrick Baltzer, Patrick McMahon, Melinda Marsh, Ryan Casey, Chris Salice

Stream restoration is a common practice to reduce sediment and nutrient export. A relatively new approach to restoration is legacy sediment removal and floodplain reconnection (LSR/FR), which involves removing sediment accumulated behind historic milldams to reconnect incised streams to their floodplains. We investigated the effects of restoration on riparian plant communities and water quality at six sites in Baltimore and Harford counties restored with an LSR/FR approach. Land use across the sites was agricultural and (sub)urban. Post-restoration riparian plant communities exhibited an increase in hydrophytic vegetation, much of which was not actively planted.  Beta diversity increased for herbaceous plants but decreased for woody species. Additionally, woody vegetation basal area decreased by 80%, likely resulting in reduced carbon inputs to the floodplains. Baseflow nitrogen concentrations and fluxes were elevated at all sites compared to a forested site and were not affected by restoration. Denitrification appeared to be constrained by carbon limitation. Storm fluxes also were minimally affected by restoration. The effects of restoration are immediately observable in riparian plant communities but for water quality, particularly denitrification, may not be observable for years and can be obscured by weather and climate-driven variability.