Advertisement

Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 98, Issue 5, pp 1295–1309 | Cite as

Evaluating changes in stream fish species richness over a 50-year time-period within a landscape context

  • Stephen R. Midway
  • Tyler Wagner
  • Bryn H. Tracy
  • Gabriela M. Hogue
  • Wayne C. Starnes
Article

Abstract

Worldwide, streams and rivers are facing a suite of pressures that alter water quality and degrade physical habitat, both of which can lead to changes in the composition and richness of fish populations. These potential changes are of particular importance in the Southeast USA, home to one of the richest stream fish assemblages in North America. Using data from 83 stream sites in North Carolina sampled in the 1960’s and the past decade, we used hierarchical Bayesian models to evaluate relationships between species richness and catchment land use and land cover (e.g., agriculture and forest cover). In addition, we examined how the rate of change in species richness over 50 years was related to catchment land use and land cover. We found a negative and positive correlation between forest land cover and agricultural land use and average species richness, respectively. After controlling for introduced species, most (66 %) stream sites showed an increase in native fish species richness, and the magnitude of the rate of increase was positively correlated to the amount of forested land cover in the catchment. Site-specific trends in species richness were not positive, on average, until the percentage forest cover in the network catchment exceeded about 55 %. These results suggest that streams with catchments that have moderate to high (>55 %) levels of forested land in upstream network catchments may be better able to increase the number of native species at a faster rate compared to less-forested catchments.

Keywords

Stream fish Species richness Hierarchical Bayesian Land use Forest cover 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank Dana Infante and her lab at Michigan State University for preparing the land use data. The authors would like to thank the Staff of the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Division of Water Resources, for assisting B.H. Tracy in the collection of the fish community data. Any use of trade, firm, or product names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

References

  1. Alig RJ, Kline JD, Lichtenstein M (2004) Urbanization on the US landscape: looking ahead in the 21st century. Landsc Urban Plan 69(2):219–234CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Allan JD (2004) Landscapes and riverscapes: the influence of land use on stream ecosystems. Ann Rev Ecol Evol Syst 35:257–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Anderson AA, Hubbs C, Winemiller K, Edwards RJ (1995) Texas freshwater fish assemblages following three decades of environmental change. Southwest Nat 40(3):314–321Google Scholar
  4. Angermeier PL (1995) Ecological attributes of extinction-prone species: loss of freshwater fishes of virginia. Conserv Biol 9(1):143–158CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Argent DG, Carline RF (2004) Fish assemblage changes in relation to watershed landuse disturbance. Aquat Ecosyst Health & Manag 7(1):101–114CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bailey R, Avers P, King T, McNab W (1994) Ecoregions and subregions of the United States (map). 1:7,500,000. Tech. rep., USDA Forest Service, Washington, DC, USAGoogle Scholar
  7. Beecher HA, Dott ER, Fernau RF (1988) Fish species richness and stream order in Washington State streams. Environ Biol Fish 22(3):193–209CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Blevins Z, Effert E, Wahl D, Suski C (2013) Land use drives the physiological properties of a stream fish. Ecol Indic 24:224–235CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Brooks DR, Mayden RL, McLennan DA (1992) Phylogeny and biodiversity: conserving our evolutionary legacy. Trends Ecol & Evol 7(2):55–59CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bryce SA, Omernik JM, Larsen DP (1999) Ecoregions: a geographic framework to guide risk characterization and ecosystem management. Environ Pract 1(3):141–155CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Burkhead NM (2012) Extinction rates in North American freshwater fishes, 1900–2010. Bioscience 62(11):933–933CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Burns C, Peoples C, Fields M, Barnett A (2012) Protecting North Carolina’s freshwater systems: a state-wide assessment of biodiversity, condition and opportunity. Technical report, The Nature Conservancy, North Carolina, USAGoogle Scholar
  13. Carpenter SR, Stanley EH, Vander Zanden MJ (2011) State of the worlds freshwater ecosystems: physical, chemical, and biological changes. Ann Rev Env Resour 36:75–99CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dobbins D, Cailteux R, Midway S, Leone E (2012) Longterm impacts of introduced Flathead Catfish on native ictalurids in a north Florida, USA, river. Fish Manag Ecol 19(5):434–440CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dudgeon D, Arthington AH, Gessner MO, Kawabata Z -I, Knowler DJ, Lévêque C, Naiman RJ, Prieur-Richard A -H, Soto D, Stiassny ML et al (2006) Freshwater biodiversity: importance, threats, status and conservation challenges. Biol Rev 81(2):163–182CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Dunham JB, Young MK, Gresswell RE, Rieman BE (2003) Effects of fire on fish populations: landscape perspectives on persistence of native fishes and nonnative fish invasions. Forest Ecol Manag 178(1):183–196CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Etnier DA, Starnes WC (1993) The Fishes of Tennessee. University of Tennessee PressGoogle Scholar
  18. Foley JA, DeFries R, Asner GP, Barford C, Bonan G, Carpenter SR, Chapin FS, Coe MT, Daily GC, Gibbs HK et al (2005) Global consequences of land use. Science 309:570–574CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Gelman A (2004) Parameterization and Bayesian modeling. J Am Stat Assoc 99(466):537–545CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Griffith GE, Omernik JM, Comstock J, Schafale M, McNab W, Lenat D, MacPherson T (2002) Ecoregions of North Carolina.Western Ecology Division, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, US Environmental Protection AgencyGoogle Scholar
  21. Gu W, Swihart RK (2004) Absent or undetected? Effects of non-detection of species occurrence on wildlifehabitat models. Biol Conserv 116(2):195–203CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Harding J, Benfield E, Bolstad P, Helfman G, Jones E (1998) Stream biodiversity: the ghost of land use past. Proc Natl Acad Sci 95(25):14843–14847CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Hewitt AH, Kwak TJ, Cope WG, Pollock KH (2009) Population density and instream habitat suitability of the endangered Cape Fear Shiner. Trans Am Fish Soc 138(6):1439– 1457CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Homer C, Dewitz J, Fry J, Coan M, Hossain N, Larson C, Herold N, McKerrow A, VanDriel JN, Wickham J (2007) Completion of the 2001 national land cover database for the conterminous United States. Photogramm Eng Remote Sens 73(4):337–341Google Scholar
  25. Howells D (1990) Quest for clean streams in North Carolina: An historical account of stream pollution control in North Carolina: Report no. 258. Tech. rep., Water Resources Research Institute of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USAGoogle Scholar
  26. Jelks HL, Walsh SJ, Burkhead NM, Contreras-Balderas S, Diaz-Pardo E, Hendrickson DA, Lyons J, Mandrak NE, McCormick F, Nelson JS et al (2008) Conservation status of imperiled North American freshwater and diadromous fishes. Fisheries 33(8):372–407CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Jenkins RE, Burkhead NM (1994) Freshwater fishes of Virginia. American Fisheries SocietyGoogle Scholar
  28. Johnston C, Maceina M (2009) Fish assemblage shifts and species declines in Alabama, USA streams. Ecol Freshw Fish 18(1):33–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Kaeser A, Bonvechio T, Harrison D, Weller R (2011) Population dynamics of introduced Flathead Catfish in rivers of southern Georgia. In: Michaletz P, VH T (eds) American Fisheries Society Symposium, American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, MD, USA, 77, pp 405422Google Scholar
  30. Kéry M (2010) Introduction to WinBUGS for Ecologists: A Bayesian Approach to Regression, ANOVA and Related Analyses. Academic PressGoogle Scholar
  31. Lapointe NW, Thorson JT, Angermeier PL (2012) Relative roles of natural and anthropogenic drivers of watershed invasibility in riverine ecosystems. Biol Invasions 14(9):1931–1945CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Meador MR, Coles JF, Zappia H (2005) Fish assemblage responses to urban intensity gradients in contrasting metropolitan areas: Birmingham, Alabama and Boston, Massachusetts. In: American Fisheries Society Symposium 47, vol 47, pp 409423Google Scholar
  33. NCDENR (2006) Standard operating procedure for stream fish communities. Tech. rep., North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Raleigh, North Carolina, USAGoogle Scholar
  34. NCFS (2010) North Carolinas forest resources assessment: A statewide analysis of the past, current, and projected future conditions of North Carolinas forest resources. Tech. rep., North Carolina Division of Forest Resources, Raleigh, North Carolina, USAGoogle Scholar
  35. NOAA (2010) Development sprawl impacts on the terrestrial carbon dynamics of the United States: data download. Tech. rep., National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Silver Spring, Maryland, USAGoogle Scholar
  36. Paller MH (1995) Relationships among number of fish species sampled, reach length surveyed, and sampling effort in South Carolina Coastal Plain streams. N Am J Fish Manag 15(1):110–120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Patton TM, Rahel FJ, Hubert WA (1998) Using historical data to assess changes in Wyomings fish fauna. Conserv Biol 12(5):1120–1128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Plummer M (2013) rjags: Bayesian graphical models using MCMC http://mcmc-jags.sourceforge.net
  39. R Core Team. R (2013) A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, AustriaGoogle Scholar
  40. Scott MC (2006) Winners and losers among stream fishes in relation to land use legacies and urban development in the southeastern US. Biol Conserv 127(3):301– 309CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Scott MC, Helfman GS (2001) Native invasions, homogenization, and the mismeasure of integrity of fish assemblages. Fisheries 26(11):6–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Starnes WC, Hogue GM (2011) Curation and databasing of voucher collections from the North CarolinaWildlife Resources Commission 1960s statewide surveys of fishes. Tech. rep., North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, Raleigh, North Carolina, USAGoogle Scholar
  43. Sullivan SMP, Watzin MC, Hession WC (2006) Influence of stream geomorphic condition on fish communities in Vermont, USA. Freshw Biol 51(10):1811– 1826CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Sutherland AB, Meyer JL, Gardiner EP (2002) Effects of land cover on sediment regime and fish assemblage structure in four southern Appalachian streams. Freshw Biol 47(9):1791–1805CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Thomas ME (1993) Monitoring the effects of introduced Flathead Catfish on sport fish populations in the Altamaha River, Georgia. In: Proceedings of the Annual Conference Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, vol 47, pp 531538Google Scholar
  46. Tracy BH, Jenkins RE, Starnes WC (2013) History of fish investigations in the Yadkin-Pee Dee River drainage of North Carolina and Virginia with an analysis of non indigenous species and invasion dynamics of three speciesof suckers (Catostomidae). J N C Acad Sci 129(3):82– 106Google Scholar
  47. Tyre AJ, Tenhumberg B, Field SA, Niejalke D, Parris K, Possingham HP (2003) Improving precision and reducing bias in biological surveys: estimating false-negative error rates. Ecol Appl 13(6):1790–1801CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. USEPA (2009) National water quality inventory: Report to congress, 2004 reporting cycle. Tech. Rep. EPA-841-R- 08-00., U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,Washington, DC, USAGoogle Scholar
  49. Wagner T, Hayes DB, Bremigan MT (2006) Accounting for multilevel data structures in fisheries data using mixed models. Fisheries 31(4):180–187CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Warren ML, Burr BM, Walsh SJ, Bart Jr HL, Cashner RC, Etnier DA, Freeman BJ, Kuhajda BR, Mayden RL, Robison HW et al (2000) Diversity, distribution, and conservation status of the native freshwater fishes of the southern United States. Fisheries 25(10):7–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Weinstein MP, Davis RW (1980) Collection efficiency of seine and rotenone samples from tidal creeks, Cape Fear River, North Carolina. Estuaries 3(2):98–105CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Winemiller KO, Rose KA (1992) Patterns of life-history diversification in North American fishes: implications for population regulation. Can J Fish Aquat Sci 49(10):2196–2218CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen R. Midway
    • 1
  • Tyler Wagner
    • 2
  • Bryn H. Tracy
    • 3
  • Gabriela M. Hogue
    • 4
  • Wayne C. Starnes
    • 4
  1. 1.Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  2. 2.U.S. Geological SurveyPennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  3. 3.North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Division of Water ResourcesRaleighUSA
  4. 4.North Carolina Museum of Natural SciencesRaleighUSA

Personalised recommendations