Stream restoration improves riparian and instream habitats to increase biodiversity and stabilizes channel morphology. Cow Creek, a third order stream located in Stillwater, OK underwent restoration in 2012, requiring large-scale removal of woody vegetation, drastically decreasing riparian canopy cover. This study evaluated spatial and temporal changes between three sections of the stream: upstream unrestored, restored, and downstream unrestored. Riparian cover and water temperature data from 2015 and 2016 were analyzed for temporal changes.Three transects were sampled at each of the five sites: two upstream, one restored, and two downstream. In 2016, stream water chemistry, canopy coverage and algal production (e.g., Chl a) were analyzed for spatially variation between six sites: two upstream, two restored, and two downstream. Canopy coverage values were obtained using hemispherical photography for transects representing the three sections of the stream. Stream water temperature was measured by immersing iButton temperature loggers sealed in Nalgene bottles just below the water surface.
Preliminary analyses indicated that there were significant differences in canopy coverage (P<0.01) and water temperature (P=0.02) between 2015 and 2016. In addition, each site displayed significantly different water temperatures (P<0.01), however there were no significant shifts in water temperature between 2015 and 2016. Spatially, Site 1 (upstream unrestored) had lower Chl a concentrations which may have related to its high riparian canopy coverage (76%). Canopy coverage decreased and water temperature increased downstream through the restored and unrestored stream segments.