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Observational changes to the natural flow regime in Lee Creek in relation to altered precipitation patterns and its implication for fishes

Proceedings of the Oklahoma Academy of Science
By: , and 

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Abstract

The natural flow regime is important for structuring streams and their resident ichthyofauna and alterations to this regime can have cascading consequences. We sought to determine if changes in hydrology could be attributed to changes in precipitation in a minimally altered watershed (Lee Creek). The stream flow regime was analyzed using Indicators of Hydrologic Alteration (IHA) software, and data from a nearby climate station were used to summarize concurrent precipitation patterns. We discovered that Lee Creek hydrology had become flashier (i.e., increased frequency of extreme events of shorter duration) since 1992 coincident with changes in precipitation patterns. Specifically, our results show fewer but more intense rain events within the Lee Creek watershed. Our research provides evidence that climate-induced changes to the natural flow regime are currently underway and additional research on its effects on the fish community is warranted.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Observational changes to the natural flow regime in Lee Creek in relation to altered precipitation patterns and its implication for fishes
Series title Proceedings of the Oklahoma Academy of Science
Volume 95
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher Oklahoma Academy of Science
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Atlanta
Description 12 p.
First page 135
Last page 146
Country United States
State Arkansas, Oklahoma
Other Geospatial Lee Creek watershed