New RBC Publication: Drought, Flow-Ecology Relationships in the Ozark Highlands

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New RBC Publication: Drought, Flow-Ecology Relationships in the Ozark Highlands

 

Map of study area showing sample sites, stream network and Springfield Plateau (shaded grey). Inset shows location of the Ozark
Highlands Level III Ecoregion (light grey), including the Springfield Plateau physiographic province (dark grey) in the Central United States.

RBC post-doc Douglas Leasure has a new publication with Dustin Lynch and Daniel Magoulick on the influence of drought on flow-ecology relationships in Ozark Highland streams.  Doug and his colleagues examined environment-ecology relationships in stream communities in Ozark Highland streams over two years with contrasting environmental conditions: a drought year and a flood year.  They analyzed fish, crayfish, and benthic macroinvertebrate assemblages using two different approaches.  They conducted a multiple regression analysis incorporating predictor variables related to habitat, water quality, geomorphology, and hydrology as well as a canonical ordination procedure using only hydrologic variables in which forward selection was used to select predictors that we most related to the response variables.

The group concludes that reach-scale habitat quality and geomorphology were the most important influences on community structure, aside from hydrology which was also important particularly during the flood year.  They found that magnitude was the most important flow component overall and that some ecological responses differed significantly between drought and flood years, while others remained consistent.  The study’s findings suggest that understanding temporal variation in flow-ecology relationships may be crucial for resource planning.  The complexities can be addressed by focusing on relationships that are temporally stable and flow metrics that are consistently important across groups.

Reference: Lynch DTLeasure DRMagoulick DDThe influence of drought on flow-ecology relationships in Ozark Highland streamsFreshwater Biol2018;00:123https://doi.org/10.1111/fwb.13089

Uploaded: 3/23/18 Text: Cyra Malec