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Watershed morphology of highland and mountain ecoregions in eastern Oklahoma

Professional Geographer
By: , and 

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Abstract

The fluvial system represents a nested hierarchy that reflects the relationship among different spatial and temporal scales. Within the hierarchy, larger scale variables influence the characteristics of the next lower nested scale. Ecoregions represent one of the largest scales in the fluvial hierarchy and are defined by recurring patterns of geology, climate, land use, soils, and potential natural vegetation. Watersheds, the next largest scale, are often nested into a single ecoregion and therefore have properties that are indicative of a given ecoregion. Differences in watershed morphology (relief, drainage density, circularity ratio, relief ratio, and ruggedness number) were evaluated among three ecoregions in eastern Oklahoma: Ozark Highlands, Boston Mountains, and Ouachita Mountains. These ecoregions were selected because of their high-quality stream resources and diverse aquatic communities and are of special management interest to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. One hundred thirty-four watersheds in first-through fourth-order streams were compared. Using a nonparametric, two-factor analysis of variance (?? = 0.05) we concluded that the relief, drainage density, relief ratio, and ruggedness number all changed among ecoregion and stream order, whereas circularity ratio only changed with stream order. Our study shows that ecoregions can be used as a broad-scale framework for watershed management. ?? 2011 by Association of American Geographers.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Watershed morphology of highland and mountain ecoregions in eastern Oklahoma
Series title Professional Geographer
Volume 63
Issue 1
Year Published 2011
Language English
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Professional Geographer
First page 131
Last page 143