Jeannie Long, Effects Of Land Use On Biotic Integrity In Ridge And Valley Streams In The Chattanooga Metropolitan Area, Tennessee-Georgia
Faculty Chair: Dr. Mark Schorr
Twenty-one sites across seven streams in the Chattanooga metropolitan area,
Tennessee-Georgia, were studied from April-August, 1999, as part of the Urban Streams Project. All sites are in the Ridge and Valley ecoregion and are part of the Nickajack Reservoir watershed in the Tennessee River system. Study sites were characterized in terms of water quality, habitat, and fish assemblages. Relationships among these features and land use, at both the riparian and watershed scales, were examined. A total of 40 species representing nine families of fishes were collected by electrofishing. Biotic integrity at all sites was degraded to some extent, with 16 sites receiving index of biotic integrity (IBI) ratings of poor or lower. Index of Biotic Integrity scores were negatively con-elated with urban land use at the watershed scale and positively con-elated with habitat features such as rocky substrate and thalweg depth. Scores were not significantly correlated with riparian land use. Instream rocky substrate was correlated with land use at both the riparian and watershed scales and was negatively correlated with urban land use, but positively correlated with wooded/forested land use.