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Open AccessArticle

Contrasting Responses among Aquatic Organism Groups to Changes in Geomorphic Complexity Along a Gradient of Stream Habitat Restoration: Implications for Restoration Planning and Assessment

1
Landscape Ecology Group, Department of Ecology and Environmental Science, Umeå University, SE-901 87 Umeå, Sweden
2
Department of Forest Ecology and Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SE-901 83 Umeå, Sweden
3
Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SE-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2018, 10(10), 1465; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10101465
Received: 27 August 2018 / Revised: 28 September 2018 / Accepted: 6 October 2018 / Published: 17 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Restoration of Biodiversity in Streams and Rivers)
Many stream restoration projects aim to increase geomorphic complexity, assuming that this increases habitat heterogeneity and, thus, biodiversity. However, empirical data supporting these linkages remain scant. Previous assessments of stream restoration suffer from incomplete quantification of habitat complexity, or a narrow focus on only one organism group and/or one restoration measure, limiting learning. Based on a comprehensive quantification of geomorphic complexity in 20 stream reaches in northern Sweden, ranging from streams channelized for timber floating to restored and reference reaches, we investigated responses of macroinvertebrates, diatoms, and macrophytes to multiple geomorphic metrics. Sediment size heterogeneity, which was generally improved in restored sites, favored macroinvertebrate and diatom diversity and macroinvertebrate abundance. In contrast, macrophyte diversity responded to increased variation along the longitudinal stream profile (e.g., step-pools), which was not consistently improved by the restoration. Our analyses highlight the value of learning across multiple restoration projects, both in identifying which aspects of restoration have succeeded, and pinpointing other measures that might be targeted during adaptive management or future restoration. Given our results, a combination of restoration measures targeting not only sediment size heterogeneity, but also features such as step-pools and instream wood, is most likely to benefit benthic biota in streams. View Full-Text
Keywords: bioassessment; boreal; bryophyte; hydromorphology; riparian; river; substrate heterogeneity; woody debris bioassessment; boreal; bryophyte; hydromorphology; riparian; river; substrate heterogeneity; woody debris
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hasselquist, E.M.; Polvi, L.E.; Kahlert, M.; Nilsson, C.; Sandberg, L.; McKie, B.G. Contrasting Responses among Aquatic Organism Groups to Changes in Geomorphic Complexity Along a Gradient of Stream Habitat Restoration: Implications for Restoration Planning and Assessment. Water 2018, 10, 1465. https://doi.org/10.3390/w10101465

AMA Style

Hasselquist EM, Polvi LE, Kahlert M, Nilsson C, Sandberg L, McKie BG. Contrasting Responses among Aquatic Organism Groups to Changes in Geomorphic Complexity Along a Gradient of Stream Habitat Restoration: Implications for Restoration Planning and Assessment. Water. 2018; 10(10):1465. https://doi.org/10.3390/w10101465

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hasselquist, Eliza M.; Polvi, Lina E.; Kahlert, Maria; Nilsson, Christer; Sandberg, Lisa; McKie, Brendan G. 2018. "Contrasting Responses among Aquatic Organism Groups to Changes in Geomorphic Complexity Along a Gradient of Stream Habitat Restoration: Implications for Restoration Planning and Assessment" Water 10, no. 10: 1465. https://doi.org/10.3390/w10101465

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