MWC Eco-brief: Got Oxygen?
Got oxygen? Stream water holds less available oxygen than air. Water picks up dissolved oxygen (DO) where mixing occurs and when plants & algae release DO during photosynthesis. How much DO water holds is limited by temperature; the warmer the water, the less oxygen it can hold. Thus it is important to keep streams cool & shaded with natural vegetation along streambanks. Native trees, shrubs, and forest floor plants work best for historically forested areas whereas tall native grasses, sedges, and wildflowers that droop over streambanks work best where grasslands historically existed. Excess sediment washed into streams absorbs the suns energy, which can increase water temperature and lower DO levels. Take a look at your nearest stream to see if it needs a little TLC. Let's think globally and work locally.