USING NEW MEASURES OF AQUATIC HABITAT TO ASSESS STREAM RESTORATION OUTCOMES
Stream restoration has become increasingly synonymous with physical channel modification on local scales, with the assumption that a certain range of local physical conditions will improve physical and ecological function. The projects are often targeted to improve measures of habitat captured in conventional field assessments, which rely on either low-resolution data over broad extents, or high-resolution data over fine scales extended to the sampling reach. Thus, the degree of habitat modification in the restoration process, and associated ecological relevance, may not be fully understood by traditional measures. Advances in drone-based aerial surveying methods allow for continuous, high-resolution measures of channel habitat over broader spatial extents. We compare field and aerial surveys of physical habitat within conventional sampling reaches (~100m), within and upstream/downstream of stream restorations in the Piedmont physiographic province. We look for correspondence in measures of physical aquatic habitat (depth, width, flow, and substrate), indicating what may be consistently captured or missed. Our research will be among the first to explore the ability of low-altitude surveys to capture fluvial landscapes, and bring new perspectives to physical habitat patterns and heterogeneity resulting from the restoration of stream ecosystems.
Matthew Baker (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Maryland Baltimore County, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Stefanie Kroll (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, email@example.com;
Hayley Oakland (Primary Presenter/Author), University of Maryland, Baltimore County, firstname.lastname@example.org;