Dry creek long-term watershed study: assessment of immediate response of aquatic macroinvertebrates to watershed level harvesting and thinning of streamside management zonesThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Streamside Management Zones (SMZs) are meant to protect riparian habitat and the stream ecosystem. Benthic macroinvertebrates are recognized bioindicators of water quality in streams, typically occupying multiple trophic levels in these systems and providing food for vertebrates. Thus, it is important to understand the effects of harvest within and adjacent to the SMZ on macroinvertebrate assemblages. Benthic macroinvertebrates were sampled pre- and post-harvest from four firstorder streams draining the Dry Creek watershed in southwestern Georgia. A multi-habitat sampling procedure was used. Macroinvertebrates were identified and compared using biotic indices. Comparisons were made between streams within the pre-harvest period and between the pre- and post-harvest periods to determine the effects of harvest. Differences in community structure were seen between pre- and post-harvest periods. These may have been influenced by environmental factors including, but not limited to, stream flow, water chemistry, and canopy cover.