|Air photo of oxbow lake along Genesee River near Geneseo, NY
||NYS Digital Orthoimagery Program
SubSystem: Natural Lakes And Ponds
State Rarity Rank:
Global Rarity Rank:
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Geographically distinct variants of oxbow lake occur in New York and differ in dominant and characteristic vascular plants, fishes, mollusks, and insects. In addition, three morphological variants are also known in New York: 1) classical oxbow lakes formed from old river channels, 2) small levee lakes formed as pools from levee overwash, and 3) floodplain lakes formed and replenished during high annual water of the associated river.
|State Ranking Justification||
There are probably several hundred occurrences statewide, although most are likely small and degraded. Very few documented occurrences have good viability and few are protected on public land or private conservation land. This community is somewhat limited to the floodplains of large streams and rivers across the state, and includes very few large, high quality examples. The current trend of this community is probably stable for occurrences on public land and private conservation land, or declining slightly elsewhere due to moderate threats related to development pressure. This community has declined substantially from historical numbers likely correlated with past hyrdorlogical alterations, conversion to agriculture, and other development.
The number and acreage of oxbow lakes on the floodplains of unconfined rivers in New York have probably remained stable in recent decades as a result of water quality regulations.
The number and acreage of oxbow lakes on the floodplains of unconfined rivers in New York are probably comparable to historical numbers.