Shaded Riverine Aquatic Habitat
Insects and plant material such as large woody debris that fall from riparian plants into the river enhance the aquatic food webs. Many aquatic invertebrates develop inside fallen logs, and these are eventually eaten by fish. Trees and shrubs growing along river banks create shaded areas of rivers that keep water temperatures low during the summer, which is important for fish. In addition, the roots, branches and other submerged plant materials provide cover for young fish, as well as nutrients and sources of invertebrates. When trees, shrubs, grasses and herbaceous plants are adjacent to the river channel, they create shaded riverine aquatic habitat. The vegetation creates a microclimate of cooler water temperatures where many fish will congregate to feed and seek cover.
For more information about Riparian Plant Communities see Conard and others 1977, Gaines 1980, Holstein 1984, Holland 1986, and CWHR 1988.