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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Aquatic Community Colonization Within Riparian Headwater Corridors

item Seger, Krystal
item Smiley, Peter - Rocky

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/2/2010
Publication Date: 5/12/2010
Citation: Seger, K., Smiley, P.C. 2010. Aquatic Community Colonization Within Riparian Headwater Corridors. Meeting Abstract. Abstract number: Booth: 049 at

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Headwater streams are the smallest streams in a watershed. Their small size and high frequency of occurrence make them susceptible to anthropogenic habitat alterations. Many headwater streams in the Midwestern US have been channelized to drain agricultural fields. Aquatic macroinvertebrate communities are an important component of riparian headwater corridors. Previous studies have evaluated how aquatic community colonization differs between habitat types and the influence of habitat variables. However, aquatic community colonization in riparian headwater corridors and the influence of stream channelization has not been examined. I addressed the following research questions: Do riparian habitat characteristics differ between channelized and unchannelized streams? and Do the habitat differences influence macroinvertebrate colonization? Mesocosms with tapwater were placed in riparian zones of two channelized and two unchannelized streams in central Ohio in July 2009. Over a 45 day period, I sampled aquatic macroinvertebrates and measured canopy cover, water depths, and water chemistry from the mesocosms. Canopy cover, turbidity, and water depths were greater in the riparian zones of unchannelized streams. Dissolved oxygen was greater in the riparian zones of channelized streams. Turbidity, dissolved oxygen, and nutrients increased from the beginning to the end of the study. Macroinvertebrate abundance, taxa richness, and relative abundances of mosquitoes, copepods, cladocerans, and dipterans were greater in the riparian zones of unchannelized streams. Temporal trends of zooplankton relative abundance and the Shannon diversity index differed between riparian habitat types. Additionally, macroinvertebrate abundance, richness, and relative abundance of mosquitoes, copepods, and dipterans increased from the beginning of the experiment to the end. My results indicate aquatic community colonization in the riparian corridors of headwater streams is influenced by riparian habitat type and nutrients. My results also suggest stream channelization reduces aquatic community diversity and abundance in riparian headwater corridors.

Last Modified: 06/27/2017
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