Priority Ecosystem Study - Platte River Program

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Title Priority Ecosystem Study - Platte River Program
Creator Swanson, Robert B.
Subject Water levels; Runoff; Irrigation
Spatial Coverage Platte River (Neb.); Nebraska; Wyoming
Description The central Platte River valley in Nebraska is an agricultural landscape that has undergone significant transformation over the last century. Major reservoirs and water diversion projects have been constructed on the Platte River in Wyoming, Colorado, and Nebraska. Storage of flood water for irrigation and power has eliminated the large floods that scoured the woody vegetation from the channel and flood plain that left wide open sandbars and shallow water that is ideal habitat for endangered and other migratory birds native to the Central Flyway. In addition, return flows from irrigation and power have enhanced the flows in the summer so that woody vegetation could survive the dry summers. As a consequence, once wide and treeless channels with open sandbars are decreasing as they have been transformed to multiple, narrow channels with woody vegetation succeeding on sandbars forming islands and wooded riparian areas. The Platte River Valley has undergone dramatic changes from native-prairie shallow water table areas, called wet meadows, to corn fields. While corn fields have provided a high energy food source for specific species of migratory birds, the availability of invertebrates in their diet from wet-meadow environments has declined. With the development of abundant water for irrigation, intense row crop agriculture that has caused the changes in native prairie landscape of the region supports the present socioeconomic structure. Economic development in the central Platte River valley is essential for local and regional prosperity.
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Contributors FirstGov
Date 2004
Type Text
Format application/pdf
Digitization Specifications pdf file copied from USGS website ( ). Uploaded into CONTENTdm version 3.7.
Source Swanson, Robert B., Priority Ecosystem Study - Platte River Program: U.S. Geological Survey, 9 p.
Language eng
Rights Management Public Domain, Courtesy of the USGS
Holding Institution University of Utah
Metadata Cataloger Kristin Willmore
ARK ark:/87278/s61g0k6c
Setname wwdl_er
Date Created 2005-08-23
Date Modified 2005-08-23
ID 1145790
Reference URL
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