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Water 2017, 9(7), 546; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9070546

Short-Term Impacts of Remeandering Restoration Efforts on Fish Community Structure in a Fourth-Order Stream

1
Biology Department, Hiram College, Hiram, OH 44234, USA
2
Department of Biology, Armstrong State University, Savannah, GA 31419, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 June 2017 / Revised: 4 July 2017 / Accepted: 17 July 2017 / Published: 20 July 2017
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Abstract

Channel reconfiguration is a common but debated method used to restore streams, often causing disturbance and producing subsequent negative impacts on biota. Here, we report results from short-term assessment (i.e., one and three years’ post-restoration) of habitat variables (e.g., reach depth, substrate, and canopy cover) and fish community composition and structure (using electrofishing surveys; e.g., proportion of juveniles and tolerant fishes) from a 675 m section of Eagle Creek (Portage County, OH, USA) restored using channel remeandering in August 2013. Mesohabitat analysis was not conducted as part of this study. Sites upstream and downstream of restoration efforts were also monitored. Surveys were completed in 10 separate 50 m stretches: one upstream control site, three new channel sites, two old channel sites, and three downstream sites. Following restoration, fish communities in downstream sites became more similar to new channel sites and diverged from the upstream control site over time, as reflected in increased proportions of juvenile and tolerant fishes. Shifts in fish communities were not explained by habitat variables. Diversity was significantly lower in new channel sites post-restoration than in the upstream control, while downstream sites remained similarly high in diversity compared to the upstream control site over time. Overall, in the short-term, new channel colonizing communities were unable to recover to reflect upstream community composition and structure, and fish communities downstream of restoration were negatively impacted. View Full-Text
Keywords: stream restoration; channel reconfiguration; community composition; diversity; juvenile fishes; tolerant fishes stream restoration; channel reconfiguration; community composition; diversity; juvenile fishes; tolerant fishes
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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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Clark, J.M.; Montemarano, J.J. Short-Term Impacts of Remeandering Restoration Efforts on Fish Community Structure in a Fourth-Order Stream. Water 2017, 9, 546.

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