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Water 2016, 8(4), 151; doi:10.3390/w8040151

Identifying Watershed, Landscape, and Engineering Design Factors that Influence the Biotic Condition of Restored Streams

1
NC Sea Grant and Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department, NC State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
2
Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department, NC State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
3
Statistics Department, NC State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
4
Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department, NC State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
Present address: Apple Inc., 505 N Mathilda Ave, Sunnyvale, CA 94085, USA
Present address: NC Division of Mitigation Services, 217 West Jones St, Raleigh, NC 27603, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Karl-Erich Lindenschmidt
Received: 15 January 2016 / Revised: 4 March 2016 / Accepted: 8 April 2016 / Published: 18 April 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geospatial Modeling of River Systems)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1840 KB, uploaded 18 April 2016]   |  

Abstract

Restored stream reaches at 79 sites across North Carolina were sampled for aquatic macroinvertebrates using a rapid bioassessment protocol. Morphological design parameters and geographic factors, including watershed and landscape parameters (e.g., valley slope, substrate), were also compiled for these streams. Principal component regression analyses revealed correlations between design and landscape variables with macroinvertebrate metrics. The correlations were strengthened by adding watershed variables. Ridge regression was used to find the best-fit model for predicting dominant taxa from the “pollution sensitive” orders of Ephemeroptera (mayflies), Plecoptera (stoneflies), and Trichoptera (caddisflies), or EPT taxa, resulting in coefficient weights that were most interpretable relative to site selection and design parameters. Results indicate that larger (wider) streams located in the mountains and foothills where there are steeper valleys, larger substrate, and undeveloped watersheds are expected to have higher numbers of dominant EPT taxa. In addition, EPT taxa numbers are positively correlated with accessible floodplain width and negatively correlated with width-to-depth ratio and sinuosity. This study indicates that both site selection and design should be carefully considered in order to maximize the resulting biotic condition and associated potential ecological uplift of the stream. View Full-Text
Keywords: rivers/streams; restoration; macroinvertebrates; watersheds rivers/streams; restoration; macroinvertebrates; watersheds
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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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Doll, B.; Jennings, G.; Spooner, J.; Penrose, D.; Usset, J.; Blackwell, J.; Fernandez, M. Identifying Watershed, Landscape, and Engineering Design Factors that Influence the Biotic Condition of Restored Streams. Water 2016, 8, 151.

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