The Effects of Surrounding Land Use Patterns and Stream Quality on the Composition of Darter Assemblages in Tennessee, USA
Humans have transformed natural landscapes in many ways that degrade ecosystems. Increase in urban growth leads to fragmentation of natural patches (Alberti 2005), which disrupts the landscape connectivity that can facilitate ecological processes such as migration and dispersal of organisms (Bierwagen 2006). Streams are ecosystems that are closely linked to their surroundings, through nutrient and energy flows derived from the watershed (Hynes 1975). Thus, both agriculture and urbanization, often adjacent to freshwater sources, can influence species distributions in stream ecosystems by degrading water quality and altering habitat (Warren et al. 2000, Allan 2004, Elmore and Kaushal 2008). For example, Walser and Bart (1999) observed a positive relationship between agriculture and sedimentation in streams in the Chattachoochee River system of the southeastern USA; this sedimentation is a leading cause of decreases in suitable fish habitat and fish egg survival (Berkmen and Rabeni 1987).
Tougas, Stephanie R, "The Effects of Surrounding Land Use Patterns and Stream Quality on the Composition of Darter Assemblages in Tennessee, USA" (2013). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI13853148.