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Influence of spatial resolution on assessing channelization impacts on fish and macroinvertebrate communities in a warmwater stream in the southeastern United States
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The choice of spatial and temporal scale used in environmental assessments may influence the observed results. One method of assessing the impact of stream habitat alterations involves the comparison of response variables among treatment categories (i.e., impacted and unimpacted sites). The influence of spatial resolution on patterns of response variables among treatment categories in assessments of stream channelization and other types of habitat alterations has not been evaluated. We examined how patterns of 10 community response variables among channel types and our interpretations of channelization impacts on fish and macroinvertebrate communities differed among three spatial resolutions in a warmwater stream in Mississippi and Alabama. Four fish and three macroinvertebrate community response variables exhibited different patterns among channel types at different spatial resolutions. Our interpretations of the impacts of channelization on fish and macroinvertebrate communities differed among spatial resolutions. Channelization had a negative influence on fish communities either with or without evidence of potential community recovery in one channel type. Channelization impacts on macroinvertebrate communities ranged from a negative influence to no effect. Our results suggest that spatial resolution can influence the observed results and interpretations derived from assessments of stream habitat alterations.
Smiley, Peter C. Jr
Dibble, Eric D.
Environmental monitoring and assessment 2008 Mar., v. 138, no. 1-3
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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