Effects of introduced small wood in a degraded stream on fish community and functional diversity

Abstract

Abstract - Though the effects of introduced wood on fishes is widely studied for salmonids in upland coldwater streams, there are few studies on this topic conducted in the Coastal Plain of the southeastern US. This research gap is problematic because the introduction of wood is a critical component of efforts aimed at conserving the threatened fish diversity of the Coastal Plain, but managers lack data on the effects of installed wood on fish com- munities. Over a nearly 4-year study period, we contrasted the effects of introduced, small, wood bundles on the fish community in a channelized and deeply incised sand-bed Coastal Plain stream with an unmanipulated reference treatment. The central question was whether or not stream reaches with introduced wood had greater taxonomic and functional diversity than unmanipulated reference reaches within the same stream. The introduction of modest amounts of small wood had measurable and biologically significant positive impacts on fish community composition and perhaps functional diversity relative to stream reaches lacking wood. However, species-specific responses varied among treatments, suggesting the design of wood installations has an impact on whether or not management goals are achieved.

  • Citation: Sterling, Ken A.; Warren Jr., Melvin L. 2018. Effects of introduced small wood in a degraded stream on fish community and functional diversity. Southeastern Naturalist 17(1):74-94.
  • Posted Date: February 27, 2018
  • Modified Date: March 1, 2018
  • Requesting Print Publications

    Publication requests are subject to availability. Fiscal responsibility limits the hardcopies of publications we produce and distribute. Electronic versions of publications may be downloaded, distributed and printed.

    Please make any requests at pubrequest@fs.fed.us.

    Publication Notes

    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
    • Our online publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact the SRS webmaster if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • To view this article, download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.