EPA Science Inventory

Home on the Big River, Part II: Great River Habitat Quality Indices

Citation:

TAYLOR, D. L., M. S. PEARSON, T. R. ANGRADI, D. W. BOLGRIEN, B. H. HILL, T. M. JICHA, AND M. F. MOFFETT. Home on the Big River, Part II: Great River Habitat Quality Indices . Presented at 56th Annual Meeting of the North American Benthological Society, Salt Lake City, UT, May 25 - 30, 2008.

Description:

USEPA’s EMAP sampled the Upper Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio Rivers from 2004 through 2006 as part of an integrated assessment of ecological condition. These Great Rivers are important human recreational destinations and transportation corridors, and represent significant wildlife habitat. Riparian and instream habitat indicators are needed to assess these waterbodies and diagnose causes of degradation. We developed fish habitat indices by dividing the components of habitat into four categories: channel complexity, substrate, littoral structures, and human impacts on the river and riparian zones. Fish assemblages were characterized by Non-metric Multidimensional Scaling (NMDS), with the first dimension explaining 63% of the variation in both the impounded Mississippi and on the Lower Missouri and unimpounded Mississippi fish communities. More diverse and intolerant fish assemblages on the impounded Mississippi River were best explained by channel complexity, particularly the existence of multiple channels and backwaters and the absence of human-constructed channel constraint. On the Lower Missouri and unimpounded Mississippi Rivers, a more intolerant fish community was associated with less constructed channel constraint, including levees and revetment, more large woody debris, a more diverse range of substrate particle sizes, and less agricultural impacts in the adjacent riparian lands.

Purpose/Objective:

To document research results.

URLs/Downloads:

Home on the Big River, Part II: Great River habitat quality indices   (PDF,NA pp, 133 KB,  about PDF)

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/ABSTRACT)
Projected Completion Date: 05/25/2008
Record Last Revised: 03/26/2013
Record Created: 01/30/2008
Record Released: 01/30/2008
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 188426

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LAB

MID-CONTINENT ECOLOGY DIVISION

WATERSHED DIAGNOSTICS RESEARCH