Submitted to: North American Benthological Society Bulletin
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: September 30, 1999
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: We applied revised habitat and benthic invertebrate Rapid Bioassessment Protocols (EPA, 1997) at 29 sites within a disturbed watershed in north Mississippi. This watershed was selected by Congress to receive study and treatment to alleviate aggravated problems resulting from channel incisement processes. The watershed suffers from a variety of ailments, including large-scale flooding of adjacent lands and mass degradation of in-stream and riparian habitats, which threaten land-use, flood control and biological integrity in this region. We used revised EPA RBP techniques slightly modified to fit our area and objectives to evaluate their applicability for assessment in incised watersheds. Habitat measures were correlated to species richness and sample diversity indexes to help determine major influences on the benthic community. Species richness was most highly correlated to large woody debris density. Site invertebrate abundance was most highly correlated with percent riffle habitat occurrence and large woody debris density. Shannon diversity indexes correlated best with in-stream detritus occurrence, while Fisher's alpha diversity indexes correlated better with pool occurrence and pool variability. This and other resulting information can be used to support the selection and/or design of the best channel stabilization, flood control or stream restoration measures which can be implemented.