Advertisement

Environmental Management

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 43–57 | Cite as

Effects of channel incision on base flow stream habitats and fishes

  • F. D. ShieldsJr.
  • S. S. Knight
  • C. M. Cooper
Research

Abstract

Channel incision is a widespread phenomenon that results in stream and riparian habitat degradation. Fishes and physical habitat variables were sampled at base flow from three incised stream channels and one reference stream in northwest Mississippi, USA, to quantify incision effects on fish habitat and provide a basis for habitat rehabilitation planning and design. Incised channels were sampled in spring and autumn; the reference channel was sampled only in the autumn. Incised channel habitat quality was inferior to the reference channel despite the presence of structures designed to restore channel stability. Incised channels had physical habitat diversity levels similar to a nonincised reference channel, but contained fewer types of habitat. At base flow, incised channels were dominated by shallow, sandy habitats, moderate to high mean local Froude numbers, and had relatively little organic debris in their beds. In contrast, the reference stream had greater mean water depth, contained more woody debris, and provided more deep pool habitat. Fish assemblages in incised channels were composed of smaller fishes representing fewer species relative to the reference site. Fish species richness was directly proportional to the mean local Froude number, an indicator of the availability of pool habitat.

Key words

Streams Erosion Sediment Woody debris Channel degradation Habitat restoration Fish Diversity indices 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Literature Cited

  1. Campbell, K. L., S. Kumar, and H. P. Johnson. 1972. Stream straightening effects on flood-runoff characteristics.Transactions of the American Society of Agricultural Engineers 15(1):94–98.Google Scholar
  2. Capone, T. A., and J. A. Kushlan. 1991. Fish community structure in dry-season stream pools.Ecology 72(3):983–992.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cooper, C. M., and S. S. Knight. 1987. Fisheries in manmade pools below grade-control structures and in naturally occurring scour holes of unstable streams.Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 42(5):370–373.Google Scholar
  4. Cooper, C. M., and S. S. Knight. 1991. Water quality cycles in two hill land streams subjected to natural, municipal, and non-point agricultural stresses in the Yazoo Basin of Mississippi, USA (1985–1987).International Association of Theoretical and Applied Limnology 24:1654–1663.Google Scholar
  5. Foltz, J. W. 1982. Fish species diversity and abundance in relation to stream habitat characteristics. Pages 305–311in Proceedings of the thirty-sixth annual conference of the southeastern association of fish and wildlife agencies.Google Scholar
  6. Galay, V. J. 1983. Causes of river bed degradation.Water Resources Research 19(5):1057–1090.Google Scholar
  7. Gorman, O. T., and J. R. Karr. 1978. Habitat structure and stream fish communities.Ecology 59(3):507–515.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Grissinger, E. H., and J. B. Murphey. 1982. Present “problem” of stream channel instability in the bluff area of northern Mississippi.Journal of the Mississippi Academy of Sciences 27:117–128.Google Scholar
  9. Grissinger, E. H., and J. B. Murphey. 1983. Present channel stability and late Quaternary valley deposits in northern Mississippi.International Association Sediment Special Publication No. 6:241–250.Google Scholar
  10. Grissinger, E. H., and J. B. Murphey. 1986. Bank and bed adjustments in a Yazoo bluffline tributary.In, Wang, S. Y., H. W. Shen, and L. Z. Ding (eds.) Proceedings of the third international symposium on river sedimentation. The University of Mississippi, Oxford, Mississippi, 31 March–4 April.Google Scholar
  11. Happ, S. C., G. Rittenhouse, and G. C. Dobson. 1940. Some principles of accelerated stream and valley sedimentation. Technical bulletin No. 695, United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  12. Harvey, M. D., and C. C. Watson. 1986. Fluvial processes and morphological thresholds in incised channel restoration.Water Resources Bulletin, American Water Resources Association 22(3):359–368.Google Scholar
  13. Higler, L. W. G., and A. W. M. Mol. 1984. Ecological types of running water based on stream hydraulics in the Netherlands.Hydrobiological Bulletin 18(1):51–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hortle, K. G., and P. S. Lake. 1982. Macroinvertebrate assemblages in channelized and unchannelized sections of the Bunyip River, Victoria.Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 33:1071–1082.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hortle, K. G., and P. S. Lake. 1983. Fish of channelized and unchannelized sections of the Bunyip River, Victoria.Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 34:441–450.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Horwitz, R. J. 1978. Temporal variability patterns and the distributional patterns of stream fishes.Ecological Monographs 48:307–321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hughes, R. M., Larsen, D. P. and Omernik, J. M. 1986. Regional reference sites: A method for assessing stream potentials.Environmental Management 10(5):629–635.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Karr, J. R. 1991. Biological integrity: A long-neglected aspect of water resource management.Ecological Applications 1(1):66–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Knight, S. S., and C. M. Cooper. 1987. Fishes of Otoucalofa Creek, Mississippi prior to major channel modifications.Journal of the Mississippi Academy of Sciences 32:31–38.Google Scholar
  20. Knight, S. S., and C. M. Cooper. 1990. Fishes of Hotophia Creek, Mississippi.Journal of the Mississippi Academy of Sciences 35:1–12.Google Scholar
  21. Lobb, M. D., III, and D. J. Orth. 1991. Habitat use by an assemblage of fish in a large warmwater stream.Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 120:65–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Magurran, A. E. 1988. Ecological diversity and its measurement. Croom Helm Limited, London.Google Scholar
  23. Mason, R. R., Jr., C. E. Simmons, and S. A. Watkins. 1990. Effects of channel modifications on the hydrology of Chicod Creek Basin, North Carolina, 1975–87. US Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 90-4031. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service, Raleigh, North Carolina.Google Scholar
  24. Meffe, G. K., and Sheldon, A. L. 1988. The influence of habitat structure on fish assemblage composition in southeastern blackwater streams.The American Midland Naturalist 120(2):225–2240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Menge, B. A. 1976. Organization of the New England rocky intertidal community: Role of predation, competition, and environmental heterogeneity.Ecological Monographs 46:355–393.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Neill, C. R., and J. P. Johnson. 1989. Long Creek watershed field investigation and geomorphic analyses. Northwest Hydraulic Consultants, Inc., Kent, Washington.Google Scholar
  27. Peckarsky, B. L., S. C. Horn, and B. Statzner. 1990. Stonefly predation along a hydraulic gradient: A field test of the harsh-benign hypothesis.Freshwater Biology 24:181–191.Google Scholar
  28. Pflieger, W. L. 1975.The fishes of Missouri. Missouri Department of Conservation, Jefferson City, 343 pp.Google Scholar
  29. Piest, R. F., L. S. Elliott, and R. G. Spomer. 1977. Erosion of the Tarkio drainage system, 1845–1976.Transactions of the American Society of Agricultural Engineers 20(3):485–488.Google Scholar
  30. Reice, S. R., R. C. Wissmar, and R. J. Naiman. 1990. Disturbance regimes, resilience, and recovery of animal communities and habitats in lotic ecosystems.Environmental Management 14(5):647–659.Google Scholar
  31. Richards, K. 1982. Rivers: Form and process in alluvial channels. Methuen and Co. Ltd., London, 358 pp.Google Scholar
  32. Robison, H. W., and T. J. Buchanan. 1988.Fishes of Arkansas. University of Arkansas Press, Fayetteville, 536 pp.Google Scholar
  33. Ross, S. T., and W. M. Brenneman. 1991. Distribution of freshwater fishes in Mississippi. Completion report, Dingell-Johnson project F-69, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, fisheries, and Parks, Bureau of Fisheries and Wildlife, Jackson, 548 pp.Google Scholar
  34. Ross, S. T., W. J. Matthews, and A. A. Echelle. 1985. Persistence of stream fish assemblages: Effects of environmental change.The American Naturalist 126(1):24–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Scarnecchia, D. L. 1988. The importance of streamlining in influencing fish community structure in channelized and unchannelized reaches of a prairie system.Regulated Rivers: Research and Management 2:155–166.Google Scholar
  36. Schlosser, I. J. 1982. Fish community structure and function along two habitat gradients in a headwater stream.Ecological Monographs 52(4):395–414.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Schlosser, I. J. 1985. Flow regime, juvenile abundance, and the assemblage structure of stream fishes.Ecology 66(5):1484–1490.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Schlosser, I. J. 1987. A conceptual framework for fish communities in small warmwater streams.In W. J. Matthews and D. C. Heins (eds.), Community and evolutionary ecology of north American stream fishes. University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma.Google Scholar
  39. Shankman, D., and S. A. Samson. 1991. Channelization effects on Obion River flooding, western Tennessee.Water Resources Bulletin, American Water Resources Association 27(2):247–254.Google Scholar
  40. Shields, F. D., Jr. and J. J. Hoover. 1991. Effects of channel restabilization on habitat diversity, Twentymile Creek, Mississippi.Regulated Rivers: Research and Management 6:163–181.Google Scholar
  41. Shields, F. S., Jr., and R. H. Smith. 1992. Effects of large woody debris removal on physical characteristics of a sand-bed river.Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 2:145–163.Google Scholar
  42. Shields, F. D., Jr., C. M. Cooper, and S. S. Knight. 1992. Rehabilitation of aquatic habitats in unstable Streams.In Proceedings of the fifth international symposium on river sedimentation. University of Karlsruhe, Germany.Google Scholar
  43. Simon, A. 1989. The discharge of sediment in channelized alluvial streams.Water Resources Bulletin, American Water Resources Association 25(6):1177–1188.Google Scholar
  44. Simon, A., and C. R. Hupp. 1986. Channel evolution in modified Tennessee channels. Proceedings of the 1986 federal interagency sedimentation conference, 5-71–5-82.Google Scholar
  45. Simon, A., and C. H. Robbins. 1987. Man-induced gradient adjustment of the South Fork Forked Deer River, west Tennessee.Environmental Geology and Water Science 9(2):109–118.Google Scholar
  46. Simons, D. B., and F. Senturk. 1977. Sediment transport technology. Water Resources Publications, Fort Collins, Colorado, 807 pp.Google Scholar
  47. Slack, L. J. 1992. Water-quality and bottom-material-chemistry data for the Yazoo River Basin Demonstration Erosion Control Project, North-Central Mississippi, February 1988–September 1991. US Geological Survey Open-File Report 92-469, Jackson, Mississippi.Google Scholar
  48. Statzner, B., J. A. Gore, and V. H. Resh. 1988. Hydraulic stream ecology: Observed patterns and potential applications.North American Benthological Society 7(4):307–360.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Sullivan, K. 1986. Hydraulics and fish habitat in relation to channel morphology. PhD dissertation submitted to The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland. University Microfilms International, Ann Arbor, Michigan.Google Scholar
  50. Swales, S. 1988. Fish populations of a small lowland channelized river in England subject to long-term river maintenance and management works.Regulated Rivers: Research and Management 2:493–506.Google Scholar
  51. Tramer, E. J., and P. M. Rogers. 1973. Diversity and longitudinal zonation in fish populations of two streams entering a metropolitan area.The American Midland Naturalist 90(2):366–374.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Whitten, C. B., and D. M. Patrick. 1981. Engineering geology and geomorphology of streambank erosion. Technical report GL-79-7, report 2 (of a series): Yazoo River Basin Uplands, Mississippi.Google Scholar
  53. Wilcock, D. N., and C. I. Essery. 1991. Environmental impacts of channelization on the river main, County Antrim, Northern Ireland.Journal of Environmental Management 32:127–143.Google Scholar
  54. Yount, J. D., and G. J. Niemi. 1990. Recovery of lotic communities and ecosystems from disturbance—a narrative review of case studies.Journal of Environmental Management 14(5):547–569.Google Scholar
  55. Zimmer, D. W., and R. W. Bachmann. 1976. A study of the effects of stream channelization and bank stabilization on warmwater sport fish in Iowa. Subproject No. 4. The effects of long-reach channelization on habitat and invertebrate drift in some Iowa streams. Iowa Cooperative Fishery Research Unit, Ames, Iowa.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. D. ShieldsJr.
    • 1
  • S. S. Knight
    • 1
  • C. M. Cooper
    • 1
  1. 1.US Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research ServiceNational Sedimentation LaboratoryOxfordUSA

Personalised recommendations