RBC Publication Highlight: Effects of Watershed Urbanization
The journal Freshwater Science has recently published a paper by Jess Sterling, Amy Rosemond, and Seth Wenger titled “Watershed urbanization affects macroinvertebrate community structure and reduces biomass through similar pathways in Piedmont streams, Georgia, USA.” This paper investigates how macroinvertebrate communities respond to watershed urbanization. The researchers quantified environmental stressors common in urban streams, such as increased impervious surface cover and conductivity, and tested how much these values can be used to predict macroinvertebrate biomass and community structure. Through this method, the researchers were able to gain insight into how the many complicated factors at work in this ecosystem fit together.
The researchers concluded that stressors from urbanization lowered macroinvertebrate biomass and simplified trophic structure. By understanding how invertebrate communities respond to different environmental stressors, restoration and management projects can be fine-tuned to better protect our urban watersheds.
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