Riparian zones occur as transitional areas between aquatic and upland terrestrial habitats. Although not always well-defined (Fischer et al. 2000), they generally can be described as long, linear strips of vegetation adjacent to streams, rivers, lakes, reservoirs, and other inland aquatic systems that affect or are affected by the presence of water. Riparian zones typically comprise a small percentage of the landscape, often less than 1 percent, yet they frequently harbor a disproportionately high number of wildlife species and perform a disparate number of ecological functions when compared to most upland habitats. Riparian zones have been widely recognized as functionally unique and dynamic ecosystems only within the past 25 years.