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Using a Geospatial Model to Relate Fluvial Geomorphology to Macroinvertebrate Habitat in a Prairie River—Part 1: Genus-Level Relationships with Geomorphic Typologies
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Water 2016, 8(3), 107; doi:10.3390/w8030107

Using a Geospatial Model to Relate Fluvial Geomorphology to Macroinvertebrate Habitat in a Prairie River—Part 2: Matching Family-Level Indices to Geomorphological Response Units (GRUs)

1
Global Institute for Water Security, University of Saskatchewan, 11 Innovation Boulevard, Saskatoon, SK S7N 3H5, Canada
2
Water Security Agency, Innovation Place, 101-108 Research Drive, Saskatoon, SK S7K 3R3, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Y. Jun Xu
Received: 31 October 2015 / Revised: 29 February 2016 / Accepted: 14 March 2016 / Published: 18 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geospatial Modeling of River Systems)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2988 KB, uploaded 18 March 2016]   |  

Abstract

Many rivers are intensely managed due to anthropogenic influences such as dams, channelization, and water provision for municipalities, agriculture, and industry. With this growing pressure on fluvial systems comes a greater need to evaluate the state of their ecosystems. The purpose of this research is to use a geospatial model of the Qu’Appelle River in Saskatchewan to distinguish instream macroinvertebrate habitats at the family level. River geomorphology was assessed through the use of ArcGIS and digital elevation models; with these tools, the sinuosity, slope, fractal dimension, and stream width of the river were processed. Subsequently, Principal Component Analysis, a clustering technique, revealed areas with similar sets of geomorphological characteristics. These similar typology sequences were then grouped into geomorphological response units (GRUs), designated a color, and mapped into a geospatial model. Macroinvertebrate data was then incorporated to reveal several relationships to the model. For instance, certain GRUs contained more highly sensitive species and healthier diversity levels than others. Future possibilities for expanding on this project include incorporating stable isotope data to evaluate the food-web structure within the river basin. Although GRUs have been very successful in identifying fish habitats in other studies, the macroinvertebrates may be too sessile and their habitat too localized to be identified by such large river units. Units may need to be much shorter (250 m) to better identify macroinvertebrate habitat. View Full-Text
Keywords: biotic index; fluvial geomorphology; fractal dimension; geomorphic response units (GRU); macroinvertebrates; Shannon diversity index; sinuosity; Saskatchewan biotic index; fluvial geomorphology; fractal dimension; geomorphic response units (GRU); macroinvertebrates; Shannon diversity index; sinuosity; Saskatchewan
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Meissner, A.G.N.; Carr, M.K.; Phillips, I.D.; Lindenschmidt, K.-E. Using a Geospatial Model to Relate Fluvial Geomorphology to Macroinvertebrate Habitat in a Prairie River—Part 2: Matching Family-Level Indices to Geomorphological Response Units (GRUs). Water 2016, 8, 107.

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