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Connecting ground water influxes with fish species diversity in an urbanized watershed

Journal of the American Water Resources Association

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Abstract

Valley Creek watershed is a small stream system that feeds the Schuylkill River near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The watershed is highly urbanized, including over 17 percent impervious surface cover (ISC) by area. Imperviousness in a watershed has been linked to fish community structure and integrity. Generally, above 10 to 12 percent ISC there is marked decline in fish assemblages with fish being absent above 25 percent ISC. This study quantifies the importance of ground water in maintaining fish species diversity in subbasins with over 30 percent ISC. Valley Creek contains an atypical fish assemblage in that the majority of the fish are warm-water species, and the stream supports naturally reproducing brown trout, which were introduced and stocked from the early 1900s to 1985. Fish communities were quantified at 13 stations throughout the watershed, and Simpson's species diversity index was calculated. One hundred and nine springs were located, and their flow rates measured. A cross covariance analysis between Simpson's species diversity index and spring flow rates upstream of fish stations was performed to quantify the spatial correlation between these two variables. The correlation was found to be highest at lag distances up to about 400 m and drop off significantly beyond lag distances of about 800 m.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Connecting ground water influxes with fish species diversity in an urbanized watershed
Series title:
Journal of the American Water Resources Association
Volume
40
Issue:
5
Year Published:
2004
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Journal of the American Water Resources Association
First page:
1269
Last page:
1275
Number of Pages:
7