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Water 2016, 8(6), 261; doi:10.3390/w8060261

Assessment of Streamside Management Zones for Conserving Benthic Macroinvertebrate Communities Following Timber Harvest in Eastern Kentucky Headwater Catchments

1
Department of Biology, Transylvania University, 300 North Broadway, Lexington, KY 40508, USA
2
Department of Forestry, University of Kentucky, 105 T.P. Cooper Bldg, Lexington, KY 40546, USA
3
Department of Biology, Western Kentucky University, TCCW 334, Bowling Green, KY 42101, USA
4
Center for Research on Ecosystem Change, USDA Forest Service, 1831 Hwy 169 East, Grand Rapids, MN 55744, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Kevin Strychar
Received: 12 May 2016 / Revised: 9 June 2016 / Accepted: 14 June 2016 / Published: 21 June 2016
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Abstract

Headwater streams generally comprise the majority of stream area in a watershed and can have a strong influence on downstream food webs. Our objective was to determine the effect of altering streamside management zone (SMZ) configurations on headwater aquatic insect communities. Timber harvests were implemented within six watersheds in eastern Kentucky. The SMZ configurations varied in width, canopy retention and best management practice (BMP) utilization at the watershed scale. Benthic macroinvertebrate samples collected one year before and four years after harvest indicated few differences among treatments, although post-treatment abundance was elevated in some of the treatment streams relative to the unharvested controls. Jaccard index values were similar across SMZ treatments after logging, indicating strong community overlap. These findings suggest that stream invertebrate communities did respond to the timber harvest, though not negatively. Results also suggest that SMZ criteria for aquatic habitats in steeply sloping topography, including at least 50 percent canopy retention and widths of at least 16.8 m, appear to be adequate for protecting benthic macroinvertebrate communities from logging impacts. View Full-Text
Keywords: forestry best management practices; aquatic macroinvertebrates; headwater streams; water quality forestry best management practices; aquatic macroinvertebrates; headwater streams; water quality
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

Adkins, J.K.; Barton, C.D.; Grubbs, S.; Stringer, J.W.; Kolka, R.K. Assessment of Streamside Management Zones for Conserving Benthic Macroinvertebrate Communities Following Timber Harvest in Eastern Kentucky Headwater Catchments. Water 2016, 8, 261.

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