Development of a Scientific Understanding of the Effects of Changing Land Use on Stream Ecosystems

Thumbnail Image
Rosemond, Amy D.
Leigh, David S.
Freeman, Bryon J.
Freeman, Mary C.
Kramer, Elizabeth A.
Paul, Michael J.
Pringle, Catherine M.
Hatcher, Kathryn J.
Associated Organization(s)
Supplementary to
Changing land use promises to be a hallmark of this decade and in the years ahead in Georgia. Local and state governments are continually faced with decisions concerning the conversion of forested or agricultural lands into residential and commercial use. Few studies have quantified the effects of such change on stream ecosystems and the quality of freshwater resources. We have the opportunity to conduct a study in the Etowah River basin in which we will establish relationships between land use and indicators of the effects of change on the physical and biotic structure of streams. The database we develop will help determine the predictive relationships between thresholds in land use with indicators of stream geomorphology, in-stream habitat and biotic integrity (using fish and invertebrate indicators). Such relationships can be used to understand the scientific basis of why certain types or degrees of land conversion lead to degradation of water quality. In addition, these data can also be used to illustrate the effects of land use change on stream ecosystems and thus, can be used to facilitate informed decision-making on the tradeoffs presented by land use changes.
Sponsored and Organized by: U.S. Geological Survey, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, The University of Georgia, Georgia State University, Georgia Institute of Technology
Date Issued
Resource Type
Resource Subtype
Rights Statement
Rights URI