The Seine River Environment is a blend of smaller environments and represents a wide diversity of plant and animal species. The Riparian Environment as a habitat, "supports aquatic, semi aquatic and upland wildlife." Animals like beavers, muskrats, ducks, herons, cormorants, fish, frogs and turtles live within the vegetation along the river's edge.
The physical Riparian Zone is described by Johnathan Labaree in his book How Parkways Work: A handbook on ecology (1992) as composed of, ". . . the stream, its flat flood plain, the steeper banks, and the uplands which are often wooded." Each of these components has a different mix of plants (aquatic), grasses, shrubs, small trees or larger trees (canopy). This environment naturally resists erosion with strong roots and benefits from natural, seasonal flooding.
Where an organism lives is a habitat. The Seine River Task Force describes Habitat as, "The total requirement of plants and animals to sustain their species, including food, light, heat, cover, water, and opportunities for breeding replacement individuals of the population."
The Quality of Habitat varies along the Seine River Corridor. In the City's Assessment of Vegetation and Wildlife Habitat Quality for the Seine River Parkway(1995), has ranked the corridor's areas into 'A, B, C and D' Quality Habitat. Below are the descriptions that determine a site's habitat quality ranking.
'A' Quality Habitat (Maximum Sensitivity to Disturbance):
Virtually undisturbed by man or recovered to an extent where community structure and composition is intact and reflects historical natural vegetation and wildlife habitat. Other factors examined included soil disturbance, a high degree of native vegetation present and conversely, a lack of weedy or non-native plant species.
'B' Quality Habitat (High Sensitivity to Disturbance):
Light to moderate disturbance, for example flood suppression (resulting in the encroachment of non-native species), may have a minimal amount of weeds but maintains a more natural condition where native species are still the major community.
'C' Quality Habitat (Low Sensitivity to Disturbance):
Moderate disturbance, a significant number of weed species which have replaced native species, few native species present. For example, an old agricultural clearing that has not been used in recent times, or an area that is regularly mowed.
'D' Quality Habitat (Minimum Sensitivity to Disturbance):
Heavily disturbed site, the vegetation is dominated by weed species or absent all together. None or very few native plant species present."