Can Basin Land Use Effects on Physical Characteristics of Streams Be Determined at Broad Geographic Scales?
The environmental setting (e.g., climate, topography, geology) and land use affect stream physical characteristics singly and cumulatively. At broad geographic scales, we determined the importance of environmental setting and land use in explaining variation in stream physical characteristics. We hypothesized that as the spatial scale decreased from national to regional, land use would explain more of the variation in stream physical characteristics because environmental settings become more homogeneous. At a national scale, stepwise linear regression indicated that environmental setting was more important in explaining variability in stream physical characteristics. Although statistically discernible, the amount of variation explained by land use was not remarkable due to low partial correlations. At level II ecoregion spatial scales (southeastern USA plains, central USA plains, and a combination of the western Cordillera and the western interior basins and ranges), environmental setting variables were again more important predictors of stream physical characteristics, however, as the spatial scale decreased from national to regional, the portion of variability in stream physical characteristics explained by basin land use increased. Development of stream habitat indicators of land use will depend upon an understanding of relations between stream physical characteristics and environmental factors at multiple spatial scales. Smaller spatial scales will be necessary to reduce the confounding effects of variable environmental settings before the effects of land use can be reliably assessed.
KeywordsGeomorphology Habitat Land use/land cover Riparian conditions Rivers/streams Spatial scale
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Anderson, J. R., Hardy, E. E., Roach, J. T., & Witmer, R. E. (1976). A land use and land cover classification system for use with remote sensor data. Professional Paper 964, US Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia.Google Scholar
- Booth, D. B. (1990). Stream-channel incision following drainage basin urbanization. Water Resources Bulletin, 26, 407–417.Google Scholar
- Fitzpatrick, F. A., Waite, I. R., D’Arconte, P., Meador, M. R., Maupin, M. A., & Gurtz, M. E. (1998). Revised methods for characterizing stream habitat in the National Water-Quality Assessment Program. Water-Resource Investigations Report 98–4052, US Geological Survey, Raleigh, North Carolina.Google Scholar
- H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics, and the Environment (2002). The state of the nation’s ecosystems: Measuring the lands, waters, and living resources of the United States (p. 270). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Hawkins, C. P., Norris, R. H., Gerritsen, J., Hughes, R. M., Jackson, S. K., Johnson, R. K., et al. (2000). Evaluation of the use of landscape classifications for the prediction of freshwater biota: Synthesis and recommendations. Journal of the North American Benthological Society, 19, 541–556.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Kaufmann, P. R., & Hughes, R. M. (2006). Geomorphic and anthropogenic influences on fish and amphibians in Pacific Northwest Coastal Streams. In R. M. Hughes, L. Wang, & P. W. Seelbach (Eds.), Influence of landscapes on stream habitats and biological assemblages. American Fisheries Society Symposium 48:429–455, Bethesda, Maryland.Google Scholar
- Leahy, P. P., Ryan, B. J., & Johnson, A. I. (1993). An introduction to the US Geological Survey’s National Water-Quality Assessment Program. Water Resources Bulletin, 29, 529–532.Google Scholar
- Lee, K. E., Goldstein, R. M., & Hanson, P. E. (2001). Relation between fish communities and riparian zone conditions at two spatial scales. Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 37, 1465–1473.Google Scholar
- Legendre, P., & Legendre, L. (1998). Numerical ecology. Developments in environmental modelling, 20. Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar
- Leopold, L. B., Miller, M. G., & Miller, J. P. (1964). Fluvial processes in geomorphology. San Francisco, California: Freeman.Google Scholar
- National Elevation Dataset (NED) (2004). Retrieved from http://www.gisdata.usgs.gov/ned/.
- National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) (2004). Retrieved from http://www.nhd.usgs.gov/.
- National Land Cover Dataset (NLCD) (2004). National land cover characterization. Retrieved from http://www.landcover.usgs.gov/natllandcover.asp.
- National Research Council (2000). Ecological indicators for the nation. Washington, District of Columbia: National Academy, 198 pp.Google Scholar
- National Water-Quality Assessment Program (NAWQA) (2004). Retrieved from http://www.water.usgs.gov/nawqa.
- Omernik, J. M., & Gallant, A. L. (1988). Ecoregions of the upper Midwest states, US. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA/600/3–88/037, 56 p.Google Scholar
- Short, T. M., Giddings, E. M. P., Zappia, H., & Coles J. F. (2005). Urbanization effects on stream habitat characteristics in Boston, Massachusetts; Birmingham, Alabama; and Salt Lake City, Utah. In L. R. Brown, R. Gray, R. Hughes, & M. R. Meador (Eds.), Effects of urbanization on stream ecosystems (pp. 317–332). Bethesda, Maryland: American Fisheries Society.Google Scholar
- Zar, J. H. (1999). Biostatistical analysis, Fourth Edition. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar