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Water 2016, 8(4), 161; doi:10.3390/w8040161

Development of Ecogeomorphological (EGM) Stream Design and Assessment Tools for the Piedmont of Alabama, USA

1
Auburn University Museum of Natural History, Department of Biological Sciences, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849, USA
2
Zink Environmental, PLLC, Asheville, NC 28804, USA
3
Department of Biology, Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, AL 36265, USA
4
North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, Raleigh, NC 27603, USA
5
Jennings Environmental, LLC, Apex, NC 27502, USA
6
Department of Crop, Soil, and Environmental Science, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: John S. Schwartz
Received: 20 January 2016 / Revised: 5 April 2016 / Accepted: 5 April 2016 / Published: 20 April 2016
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Abstract

Regional data needed for effective stream restoration include hydraulic geometry relationships (i.e., regional curves) and reference channel morphology parameters. Increasingly ecological conditions are being considered when designing, implementing, and assessing restoration efforts. We provide morphology relationships and associated ecological endpoint curves for reference streams in the Alabama piedmont. Twenty-one reference stream reaches were identified in the Tallapoosa drainage of Alabama, ranging from 0.2 to 242 km2 drainage area. Geomorphic surveys were conducted in each stream to measure riffle cross-sections and longitudinal profiles and related to drainage area to develop regional curves. Fish, crayfish, and benthic macroinvertebrates were collected from each surveyed reach and related to drainage area and geomorphic data to provide associated biological community endpoints. Bankfull channel cross-section area, width, mean depth, and estimated discharge were strongly correlated to watershed drainage area, similar to efforts in other areas of the Piedmont ecoregion. Multiple measures of fish assemblages and crayfish size were strongly predicted by drainage area and geomorphic dimensions. Macroinvertebrates showed no taxonomic and limited functional relationships with drainage area and geomorphic dimension. These tools, which integrate geomorphological and ecological conditions, can result in improved stream evaluations and designs increasing the effectiveness of stream restoration projects. View Full-Text
Keywords: fluvial geomorphology; macroinvertebrates; fish; crayfish; regional curve; hydraulic geometry; stream restoration fluvial geomorphology; macroinvertebrates; fish; crayfish; regional curve; hydraulic geometry; stream restoration
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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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MDPI and ACS Style

Helms, B.; Zink, J.; Werneke, D.; Hess, T.; Price, Z.; Jennings, G.; Brantley, E. Development of Ecogeomorphological (EGM) Stream Design and Assessment Tools for the Piedmont of Alabama, USA. Water 2016, 8, 161.

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