Overview of case studies on recovery of aquatic systems from disturbance
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
An extensive review of the published literature identified more than 150 case studies in which some aspect of resilience in freshwater systems was reported. Approximately 79% of systems studied were lotic and the remainder lentic. Most of the stressor types were chemical with DDT (N=29) and rotenone (N=15) the most common. The most common nonchemical stressors were logging activity (N=16), flooding (N=8), dredging (N=3), and drought (N=7).
The variety of endpoints to which recovery could be measured ranged from sparse data for phytoplankton (N=13), periphyton (N=6), and macrophytes (N=8) to relatively more data for fish (N=412) and macroinvertebrates (N=698). Unfortunately the same characteristics were rarely measured consistently among sites. For example, with respect to fish, more than 30 different species were studied and recovery was measured in many ways, most commonly on the basis of: (1) first reappearance of the species, (2) return time of predisturbance densities, and (3) return time of predisturbance average individual size. Based on these criteria, all systems in these studies seem to be resilient to most disturbances with most recovery times being less than three years. Exceptions included when (1) the disturbance resulted in physical alteration of the existing habitat, (2) residual pollutants remained in the system, or (3) the system was isolated and recolonization was suppressed.
- Anderson, R. S. 1970. Physical and chemical limnology of two mountain lakes in Banff National Park, Alberta.Journal of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada 27:233–249.
- Arner, D. H., H. R. Robinette, J. E. Frasier, and M. H. Gray. 1976. Effects of channelization of the Luxapalila River on fish, aquatic invertebrates, water quality, and furbearers. Office of Biological Services, US Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, DC. 58 pp.
- Avery, E. L. 1978. The influence of chemical reclamation on a small brown trout stream in southwest Wisconsin. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Publication No. 1110. Madison, Wisconsin.
- Bailey, J. H., M. Scott, D. Courtemanch, and J. Dennis. 1979. Response of Haley Pond, Maine, to changes in effluent load.Journal of the Water Pollution Control Federation 51:728–734.
- Bender, E. A., T. J. Case, and M. E. Gilpin. 1984. Perturbation experiments in community ecology: theory and practice.Ecology 65:1–13. CrossRef
- Binns, N. A. 1967. Effects of rotenone treatment on the fauna of the Green River, Wyoming. Fisheries Research Bulletin Number 1, Wyoming Game and Fish Commission, Cheyenne, Wyoming. 114 pp.
- Brooker, M. P., and R. W. Edwards. 1974. Effects of the herbicide paraquat on the ecology of a reservoir.Freshwater Biology 4:311–335.
- Brooks, J. L., and S. Dodson. 1965. Predation, body size, and competition of plankton.Science 150:28–35.
- Cairns, J. 1978. Waterway recovery.Water Spectrum 3:28–32.
- Cairns, J. 1980. The recovery process in damaged ecosystems. Ann Arbor Science Publishers, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
- Chadwick, J. W., S. P. Canton, and R. L. Dent. 1986. Recovery of benthic invertebrate communities in Silver Bow Creek, Montana, following improved metal mine wastewater treatment.Water, Air, and Soil Pollution 28:427–438.
- Cook, S. F., and R. L. Moore. 1969. The effects of a rotenone treatment on the insect fauna of a California stream.Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 98(3):539–544. CrossRef
- Cuffney, T. F., J. B. Wallace, and J. R. Webster. 1984. Pesticide manipulation of a headwater stream: invertebrate responses and their significance for ecosystem processes.Freshwater Invertebrate Biology 3:153–171. CrossRef
- Edwards, C. J., B. L. Griswold, R. A. Tubb, E. C. Weber, and L. C. Woods. 1984. Mitigating effects of artificial riffles and pools on the fauna of a channelized warmwater stream.North American Journal of Fisheries Management 4:194–203. CrossRef
- Elson, P. F. 1967. Effects on wild young salmon of spraying DDT over New Brunswick forests.Journal of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada 24:731–767.
- Gerritsen, J., and B. C. Patten. 1985. System theory formulation of ecological disturbance.Ecological Modelling 29:383–397. CrossRef
- Graham, R. J. 1959. Effects of forest insect spraying on trout and aquatic insects in some Montana streams. Seminar on biological problems in water pollution (2nd; Robert A. Taft Sanitary Engineering Center), Cincinnati, Ohio, pp. 62–65.
- Gray, L. J., and S. G. Fisher. 1981. Postflood recolonization pathways of macroinvertebrates in a lowland Sonoran Desert stream.American Midland Naturalist 106:249–257. CrossRef
- Hall, D. J., and T. J. Ehlinger. 1989. Perturbation, planktivory, and pelagic community structure: the consequence of winterhill in a small lake.Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 46:2203–2209. CrossRef
- Hrbacek, J., M. Dvorakova, V. Korinek, and L. Prochazkova. 1961. Demonstration of the effect of the fish stock on the species composition of zooplankton and the intensity of metabolism of the whole plankton association.Internationale Vereinigung für Theoretische und Angewandte Limnologie, Verhandlungen 14:192–195.
- Hurlbert, S. H., J. Zedler, and D. Fairbanks. 1972. Ecosystem alteration by mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis) predation.Science 175:639–641.
- Hynes, H. B. N. 1986. Unpublished data base of literature citations of lotic systems.
- Ide, F. P. 1967. Effects of forest spraying with DDT on aquatic insects of salmon streams in New Brunswick.Journal of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada 24:769–805.
- Kiser, R. W., J. R. Donaldson, and P. R. Olson. 1963. The effect of rotenone on zooplankton populations in freshwater lakes.Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 92:17–24. CrossRef
- Kreutzweiser, D. P., and P. D. Kingsbury. 1982. Recovery of stream benthos and its utilization by native fish following high dosage permethrin applications. Information Report FPM-X-59. Forest Pest Management Institute, Environment Canada. 18 pp.
- Likens, G. E. 1983. A priority for ecological research.Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America 64:234–243.
- Lund, J. A. 1976. Evaluation of stream channelization and mitigation on the fishery resources of the St. Regis River, Montana. Office of Biological Services, US Department of Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, DC. 49 pp.
- Matthews, W. J., and J. T. Styron. 1980. Tolerance of headwater vs. mainstream fishes for abrupt physiochemical changes.American Midland Naturalist 103:149–158. CrossRef
- Merritt, R. W., and K. W. Cummins. 1984. An introduction to the aquatic insects of North America, 2nd ed. Kendall/Hunt Publishing, Dubuque, Iowa. 722 pp.
- Morrison, B. R. S., and G. Struthers. 1975. The effects of rotenone on the invertebrate fauna of three Scottish freshwater lochs.Journal of the Institute of Fisheries Management 6:81–91.
- Niemi, G. J., S. F. Hedtke, R. J. Naiman, and J. Pastor. 1987. Quantification of disturbance, resistance, and resilience among ecological systems. Part I. Interim report to US Environmental Protection Agency, Environmental Research Laboratory, Duluth, Minnesota. CR 813180.
- Niemi, G. J., R. J. Naiman, and J. Pastor. 1988. Factors controlling the recovery of aquatic systems from disturbance. Final report to US Environmental Protection Agency, Cooperative Agreement Grant No. EPA/CR-813180-01-0.
- Olmsted, L. L., and D. G. Cloutman. 1974. Repopulation after a fish kill in Mud Creek, Washington County, Arkansas following pesticide pollution.Transaction of the American Fisheries Society 1:79–87. CrossRef
- Schoenthal, N. D. 1963. Some effects of DDT on cold water fish and fish-food organisms. PhD thesis. Montana State College, Bozeman, Montana. 47 pp.
- Smith, M. W. 1969. Changes in environment and biota of a natural lake after fertilization.Journal of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada 26:3101–3132.
- Townsend, C. R., and A. G. Hildrew. 1976. Field experiments on the drifting, colonization and continuous redistribution of stream benthos.Journal of Animal Ecology 45:759–772.
- Wallace, J. B., D. S. Vogel and T. F. Cuffney. 1986. Recovery of a headwater stream from an insecticide-induced community disturbance.Journal of the North American Benthological Society 5:115–126. CrossRef
- Warner, K., and O. C. Fenderson. 1962. Effects of DDT spraying for forest insects on Maine trout streams.Journal of Wildlife Management 26:86–93.
- Yount, J. D. and G. J. Niemi. 1990. Recovery of lotic communities and ecosystems from disturbance—a narrative review of case studies.Environmental Management 14:547–570.
- Overview of case studies on recovery of aquatic systems from disturbance
Volume 14, Issue 5 , pp 571-587
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Additional Links
- Aquatic ecosystems
- Industry Sectors
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Natural Resources Research Institute, University of Minnesota, 5013 Miller Trunk Highway, 55811, Duluth, Minnesota, USA
- 3. US Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Research Laboratory, 55804, Duluth, Minnesota, USA
- 4. Center for Streamside Studies, AR-10, University of Washington, 98195, Seattle, Washington, USA