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SFS Annual Meeting

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EXPLORING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ALTERATIONS OF THE NATURAL FLOW REGIME DUE TO URBANIZATION AND BENTHIC MACROINVERTEBRATE BIODIVERSITY AND ECOSYSTEM FUNCTION

We investigated the relationship between alterations of the natural flow regime due to urbanization and benthic macroinvertebrate biodiversity and function by evaluating 3 streams in the Piedmont, North Carolina spanning a gradient of low to high % Impervious Cover. We used the Indicators of Hydrologic Alteration (IHA) metrics to assess changes in stream hydrology over a 20 year period using flow data from USGS Gage stations in each stream. We sampled the benthic macroinvertebrate community in these streams using the North Carolina Standard Bioassessment Sampling Method (NCDWR). We found that EPT and Total Taxa Richness decline with increasing %IC. Shredders declined as herbivores increased in richness with increasing %IC. We expect that the IHA metrics will show that the 1-, 3- and 7-day maximum and minimum flow conditions increase with %IC. We also expect that the declines in biodiversity and changes in functional feeding group trait abundance will be correlated to the IHA metrics. By correlating biodiversity and taxa traits with changes in hydrology associated with urbanization, we can better understand the role of managing storm water as one component in restoring stream function and stimulating benthic macroinvertebrate community recovery.

Anthony Roux (Primary Presenter/Author), Mecklenburg County Storm Water Services, Water Quality Program, Charlotte, NC; William States Lee College of Engineering, University of North Carolina Charlotte, Tony.Roux@MecklenburgCountync.gov;


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