JDJCSET | Watershed Studies Institute Research Symposium

Title

Investigating the effects of stream restoration on fish and macroinvertebrate community dynamics and stream-wetland interactions

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Graduate

Major

Watershed Science

Minor

none

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Michael Flinn

Presentation Format

Oral Presentation

Abstract/Description

Increased anthropogenic land use is changing the hydrology and habitat of aquatic ecosystems. These changes have resulted in decreased ecosystem function to humans. One practice for restoring ecosystems is application of “the field of dreams” hypothesis, where increasing habitat quality results in increased biodiversity and function. Hatchery Creek in Jamestown, KY was restored in order to decrease sediment blooms into the Lower Cumberland River, while providing suitable trout habitat. We predicted that the increased amount of habitat would increase biodiversity and biomass of fish and macroinvertebrates in Hatchery Creek. In order to document changing diversity and biomass, quarterly samples were taken for fish and macroinvertebrates. Fish were sampled using electroshocking in three reaches. Surber samples, multi-habitat dip nets, and kicknets were used to quantify macroinvertebrate density and diversity. The restoration has decreased fish diversity from 13 to 3 taxa (rainbow, brown, and brook trout), while increasing macroinvertebrate diversity from 13 to 17. So far, the restoration has decreased macroinvertebrate density from 117,310 ± 40,016 ind/m2 to 31,581 ind/m2, and has decreased biomass from 12.72± 3.72 g/m2 to 2.07 g/m2. Collector-gatherers remain the dominant functional feeding group in the restored channel, but collector-filterers now make up 33% of overall FFG composition compared to 18% in the unrestored stream. The patterns of fish and macroinvertebrate community recovery suggest that habitat heterogeneity does not result in increased biodiversity within the first year. Further, patterns show that nearby source pools of biodiversity may influence recovery and that monitoring recovery requires longer time periods.

Affiliations

Watershed Research Institute

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Investigating the effects of stream restoration on fish and macroinvertebrate community dynamics and stream-wetland interactions

Increased anthropogenic land use is changing the hydrology and habitat of aquatic ecosystems. These changes have resulted in decreased ecosystem function to humans. One practice for restoring ecosystems is application of “the field of dreams” hypothesis, where increasing habitat quality results in increased biodiversity and function. Hatchery Creek in Jamestown, KY was restored in order to decrease sediment blooms into the Lower Cumberland River, while providing suitable trout habitat. We predicted that the increased amount of habitat would increase biodiversity and biomass of fish and macroinvertebrates in Hatchery Creek. In order to document changing diversity and biomass, quarterly samples were taken for fish and macroinvertebrates. Fish were sampled using electroshocking in three reaches. Surber samples, multi-habitat dip nets, and kicknets were used to quantify macroinvertebrate density and diversity. The restoration has decreased fish diversity from 13 to 3 taxa (rainbow, brown, and brook trout), while increasing macroinvertebrate diversity from 13 to 17. So far, the restoration has decreased macroinvertebrate density from 117,310 ± 40,016 ind/m2 to 31,581 ind/m2, and has decreased biomass from 12.72± 3.72 g/m2 to 2.07 g/m2. Collector-gatherers remain the dominant functional feeding group in the restored channel, but collector-filterers now make up 33% of overall FFG composition compared to 18% in the unrestored stream. The patterns of fish and macroinvertebrate community recovery suggest that habitat heterogeneity does not result in increased biodiversity within the first year. Further, patterns show that nearby source pools of biodiversity may influence recovery and that monitoring recovery requires longer time periods.