This study examines nine agricultural headwater streams in lllinois with a gradient of riparian forest (range from 16-92%) to determine the effect of riparian forest and agricultural land use on stream community structure. Sampling was conducted seasonally to investigate temporal patterns in community structure related to land use, in-stream habitat, and water quality parameters. Over two years of sampling have been completed and results suggest macroinvertebrate and fish community structure are sensitive to agricultural influences at both the riparian zone and watershed scale. Macroinvertebrate and fish abundances were highest in streams with the lowest percent riparian forest and highest percent watershed agriculture. In contrast, streams with the highest percent riparian forest had the highest biotic integrity and most complex trophic structure. Results of this study provide information on the influence of riparian forest on stream ecosystems and have implications for managing and restoring riparian areas in Illinois agricultural watersheds.
|Name||INHS Technical Report 2010 (30)|