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The relationship of fish community composition to riparian cover and runoff potential was investigated in 20 streams in the agricultural Minnesota River Basin during the summer of 1997. Analysis of variance indicated significant differences in fish community composition due to both riparian cover (wooded versus open) and runoff potential (high or low). Streams with wooded riparian zones had higher index of biological integrity (IBI) scores, species richness, diversity, and percentages of benthic insectivores and herbivores than streams with open riparian zones. Streams with low runoff potential had higher IBI scores and species richness than streams with high runoff potential. The riparian cover and runoff potential interaction was marginally significant with respect to IBI scores and species richness, suggesting a weak interaction between the two factors. Although both factors were important, riparian cover influenced fish community composition more than runoff potential in these streams, indicating that local factors (close to the stream) dominated landscape- or basin-level factors.
Additional Publication Details
Relationship of wooded riparian zones and runoff potential to fish community composition in agricultural streams
Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences