EVALUATING EFFECTS OF LOW STREAMFLOW ON BIOTA IN THE UPPER FLINT RIVER
Prolonged and more frequent droughts result in low flow conditions that can reduce the health and function of river systems and impact water availability for municipalities that rely on rivers for water supply. The Upper Flint River Basin in Georgia provides an important water source for multiple municipalities and supports a diverse aquatic ecosystem that offers multiple services, including recreation and biodiversity. Though droughts occurred historically in the system, low flow events appear to be increasing in severity with climate change and increasing urban pressures and water demand in the headwaters. Conservationists and water managers within the basin seek to better understand drought effects on the ecology of the system. We reviewed published literature on drought effects and reduced flows on rivers and stream biota, focusing on aquatic organisms characteristic of the Upper Flint, to help quantify consequences of alternative water management options. This synthesis will help to identify the types of data collection that could most effectively reduce uncertainty regarding low-flow effects and potential mechanisms of ecological resilience or recovery from prolonged drought.
Mary Freeman (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), US Geological Survey, email@example.com;
Seth Wenger (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Georgia, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Laura S. Craig (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), American Rivers, email@example.com;
Ben Emanuel (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), American Rivers, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Laura Rack (Primary Presenter/Author), University of Georgia, email@example.com;