Environmental Management

, Volume 35, Issue 4, pp 493–504 | Cite as

A Quantitative Tool for Assessing the Integrity of Southern Coastal California Streams

ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT

ABSTRACT

We developed a benthic macroinvertebrate index of biological integrity (B-IBI) for the semiarid and populous southern California coastal region. Potential reference sites were screened from a pool of 275 sites, first with quantitative GIS landscape analysis at several spatial scales and then with local condition assessments (in-stream and riparian) that quantified stressors acting on study reaches. We screened 61 candidate metrics for inclusion in the B-IBI based on three criteria: sufficient range for scoring, responsiveness to watershed and reach-scale disturbance gradients, and minimal correlation with other responsive metrics. Final metrics included: percent collector-gatherer + collector-filterer individuals, percent noninsect taxa, percent tolerant taxa, Coleoptera richness, predator richness, percent intolerant individuals, and EPT richness. Three metrics had lower scores in chaparral reference sites than in mountain reference sites and were scored on separate scales in the B-IBI. Metrics were scored and assembled into a composite B-IBI, which was then divided into five roughly equal condition categories. PCA analysis was used to demonstrate that the B-IBI was sensitive to composite stressor gradients; we also confirmed that the B-IBI scores were not correlated with elevation, season, or watershed area. Application of the B-IBI to an independent validation dataset (69 sites) produced results congruent with the development dataset and a separate repeatability study at four sites in the region confirmed that the B-IBI scoring is precise. The SoCal B-IBI is an effective tool with strong performance characteristics and provides a practical means of evaluating biotic condition of streams in southern coastal California.

Keywords

Benthic macroinvertebrates B-IBI Biomonitoring Mediterranean climate 

Literature Cited

  1. Barbour, M. T., Stribling, J. B., Karr, J. R 1995

    The multimetric approach for establishing biocriteria and measuring biological conditions

    Davis, W. S.Simon, T. eds. Biological assessment and criteria: tools for water resource planning and decision makingLewis PublishersBoca Raton, Florida6377
    Google Scholar
  2. Barbour, M.T., Gerritson, J., Griffith, G. E., Frydenborg, R., McCarron, E., White, J. S., Bastian, M. L. 1996A framework for biological criteria for Florida streams using benthic macroinvertebratesJournal of the North American Benthological Society15185211Google Scholar
  3. Barbour, M.T., Gerritsen, J., Snyder, B. D., Stribling, J. B. 1999Revision to rapid bioassessment protocols for use in stream and rivers: periphyton, BMIs and fish. EPA 841-D-97-002US Environmental Protection AgencyWashington, DCGoogle Scholar
  4. Beauchard, O., Gagneur, J., Brosse, S. 2003Macroinvertebrate richness patterns in North African streamsJournal of Biogeography3018211833CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brown, H. P. 1973Survival records for elmid beetles, with notes on laboratory rearing of various dryopoids (Coleoptera)Entomological News84278284Google Scholar
  6. Clements, W. H. 1994Benthic invertebrate community response heavy metals in the Upper Arkansas River Basin, ColoradoJournal of the North American Benthological Society133044Google Scholar
  7. Cooper, S .D., T. L. Dudley, and N. Hemphill. 1986. The biology of chaparral streams in southern California. Pages 139–151 in Proceedings of the Chaparral Ecosystems Research Conference, J. J. DeVries (ed.). California Water Resources Center Report 62. University of California, Davis, California, 155 ppGoogle Scholar
  8. DeShon, J. E. 1995

    Development and application of the invertebrate community index (ICI)

    Davis, W. S.Simon, T. P. eds. Biological assessment and criteria: Tools for water resource planning and decision makingCRC PressBoca Raton, Florida217243
    Google Scholar
  9. Doberstein, C.P., Karr, J. R., Conquest, L. L. 2000The effect of fixed-count subsampling on macroinvertebrate biomonitoring in small streamsFreshwater Biology44355371CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ebert, D. W., and T. G. Wade. 2002. Analytical tools interface for landscape assessments (ATtILA), Version 3.0. US EPA, Office of Research and Development, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  11. ESRI. 1999. ArcView GIS, Version 3.2. Spatial Analyst Extension. Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc., Redlands, CAGoogle Scholar
  12. Fore, L.S., Karr, J. R., Wisseman, R. W. 1996Assessing invertebrate responses to human activities: Evaluating alternative approachesJournal of the North American Benthological Society15212231Google Scholar
  13. Fore, L.S., Paulsen, K., O’Laughlin, K. 2001Assessing the performance of volunteers in monitoring streamsFreshwater Biology46109123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gasith, A., Resh, V. H. 1999Streams in Mediterranean climate regions: Abiotic influences and biotic responses to predictable seasonal eventsAnnual Review of Ecology and Systematics305181CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Harrington, J. M. 1999. California stream bioassessment procedures. California Department of Fish and Game, Water Pollution Control Laboratory. Rancho Cordova, CaliforniaGoogle Scholar
  16. Hawkins, C. P., Norris, R. H., Hogue, J. N., Feminella, J. M. 2000Development and evaluation of predictive models for measuring the biological integrity of streamsEcological Applications1014561477Google Scholar
  17. Hawkins, C. P., Ostermiller, J., Vinson, M. 2001Stream invertebrate, periphyton and environmental sampling associated with biological water quality assessmentsUnpublished manuscript, Utah State UniversityLogan, UtahGoogle Scholar
  18. Hughes, R. M. 1995

    Defining acceptable biological status by comparing with reference conditions

    Davis, W. S.Simon, T .P. eds. Biological assessment and criteria: Tools for water resource planning and decision makingCRC PressBoca Raton, Florida3147
    Google Scholar
  19. Hughes, R. M., Kaufmann, P. R., Herlihy, A. T., Kincaid, T. M., Reynolds, L., Larsen, D. P. 1998A process for developing and evaluating indices of fish assemblage integrityCanadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences5516181631CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Karr, J. R. 1981Assessment of biotic integrity using fish communitiesFisheries62127CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Karr, J. R., Fausch, K. D., Angermeyer, L., Yant, P. R., Schlosser, I. J. 1986Assessment of biological integrity in running waters: A method and its rationale. Illinois Natural History Survey Special Publication No. 5Illinois Natural History SurveyUrbana Champaign, ILGoogle Scholar
  22. Karr, J. R., Chu, E. W. 1999Restoring life in running waters: Better biological monitoringIsland PressCovelo, CaliforniaGoogle Scholar
  23. Kaufmann, P. R., Levine, P., Robison, E. G., Seeliger, C., Peck, D. V. 1999Surface waters: Quantifying physical habitat in wadeable streams. EPA/620/R-99/003. US EPAOffice of Research and DevelopmentWashington, DCGoogle Scholar
  24. Kerans, B. L., Karr, J. R. 1994A benthic index of biotic integrity (B-IBI) for rivers of the Tennessee ValleyEcological Applications4768785Google Scholar
  25. Klemm, D. J., Lewis, P. A., Fulk, F. A., Lazorchak, J. M. 1990Macroinvertebrate field and laboratory methods for evaluating the biological integrity of surface waters. EPA/600/4-90/030US Environmental Protection AgencyCinncinati, OhioGoogle Scholar
  26. Klemm, D. J., Lazorchak, J. M. 1994Environmental monitoring and assessment program, surface water and Region 3 regional monitoring and assessment program, 1994 pilot laboratory methods manual for streams. EPA/62/R-94/003US EPA, Office of Research and DevelopmentWashington, DCGoogle Scholar
  27. Klemm, D. J., Blocksom, K. A., Fulk, F. A., Herlihy, A. T., Hughes, R. M., Kaufmann, P. R., Peck, D. V., Stoddard, J. L., Thoeny, W. T., Griffith, M. B., Davis, W. S. 2003Development and evaluation of a macroinvertebrate biotic integrity index (MBII) for regionally assessing Mid-Atlantic Highland streamsEnvironmental Management31656669CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. McCormick, F. H., Hughes, R. M., Kaufmann, P. R., Peck, D. V., Stoddard, J. L., Herlihy, A. T. 2001Development of an index of biotic integrity for the Mid-Atlantic Highlands RegionTransactions of the American Fisheries Society130857877CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. McCune, B., Grace, J. B. 2002Analysis of ecological communitiesMjM Software Design. Gleneden Beach, OregonGoogle Scholar
  30. Newman, W. B., Watson, F. R. G. 2003Land use history and mapping in California’s Central Coast regionThe Watershed Institute, California State UniversityMonterey Bay, CaliforniaGoogle Scholar
  31. Omernik, J. M. 1987Ecoregions of the conterminous United States. Map (scale 1:7,500,000)Annals of the Association of American Geographers77118125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Puckett, M. 2002. Quality Assurance Management Plan for the State of California’s Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program (SWAMP). Prepared for California State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Water Quality, Sacramento, CA. First version. December 2002. Available at http://www.swrcb.ca.gov/swamp/qapp.html
  33. Reynoldson, T. B., Rosenberg, D. M., Resh, V. H. 2001Comparison of models predicting invertebrate assemblages for biomonitoring in the Fraser River catchment, British ColumbiaCanadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences5813951410CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Vinson, M. R., Hawkins, C. P. 1996Effects of sampling area and subsampling procedures on comparisons of taxonomic richness among streamsJournal of the North American Benthological Society15392399Google Scholar
  35. Wright, J. F., Furse, M. T., Armitage, P. D. 1983RIVPACS: A technique for evaluating the biological quality of rivers in the U.KEuropean Water Pollution Control31525Google Scholar
  36. Zar, J. H. 1999Biostatistical analysis, 4th edPrentice-HallUpper Saddle River, New JerseyGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Water Pollution Control LaboratoryDepartment of Fish and GameAquatic Bioassessment LaboratoryRancho CordovaUSA
  2. 2.Chico State University Research FoundationAquatic Bioassessment LaboratoryRancho CordovaUSA
  3. 3.Jason T. May3421 I Street 1SacramentoUSA

Personalised recommendations