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THE IMPACT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PARAMETERS ON MACROINVERTEBRATES IN AN URBAN FORESTED WATERSHED

Headwater streams are important because they have increased biological activity, are connected to the watershed via riparian zones, and represent most of streams within the watershed. These ecological services might be critical in urban watersheds where streams have altered hydrology, increased nutrient concentrations, and decreased biodiversity. Reedy Creek is 31.1 square kilometers watershed in Charlotte, NC whose headwaters (6.5 square kilometers) are protected in a forested urban county reserve. We have been monitoring macroinvertebrates and background water quality (dissolved oxygen, temperature, nutrients) at 10 headwater locations in different subwatersheds seasonally for 5 years as part of a pre-restoration study. EPT richness ranged from 4-19 species depending on location and season and overall the NCBI scores rated these streams as good-fair to excellent. Subwatersheds with forested land use had higher diversity than those with urban development upstream. As an urban headwater stream Reedy Creek is a critical component of the watershed that has higher diversity than other urban streams in the region. Understanding the role of these forested urban headwaters may be essential to maintaining and improving urban stream biodiversity.

Rebecca Black (Primary Presenter/Author), UNC Charlotte , rblack27@uncc.edu;


Sandra Clinton, PhD ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of North Carolina at Charlotte, sclinto1@uncc.edu;


David Vinson, PhD ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of North Carolina at Charlotte, dsvinson@uncc.edu;


Sara McMillan ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Purdue University, mcmill@purdue.edu;