Skip to Main Content
Comparative water quality of lightly-and moderately-impacted streams in the southern Blue Ridge Mountains, USAAuthor(s): Katie Price; David S. Leigh
Source: Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, Vol. 120: 269-300
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
PDF: Download Publication (4.10 MB)
DescriptionFor less-developed regions like the Blue Ridge Mountains. data are limited that link basin-scale land use with stream quality. Two pairs of lightly-impacted (90-100% forested) and moderately-impacted (7&80% forested) sub-basins of the upper Little Tennessee River basin in the southern Blue Ridge were identified for comparison. The pairs contain physically similar stream reaches, chosen for the purpose of isolating forest conversion as a potential driver of any detected differences in water quality. Streams were sampled during baseflow conditions twice monthly over a six-month period from September 2003 through February 2004. Parametric t-tests were run for each parameter measured between the lightly-and moderately-impacted streams within each pair. Statistically significantly higher mean values of suspended and dissolved solids, nitrate, specific conductivity,u turbidity, and temperature were observed in the moderately impacted streams versus the lightly impacted streams in both pairs, while dissolved oxygen levels were lower in the moderately impacted streams. No significant differences were demonstrated in orthophosphate or ammonium concentration. A near-bankfull runoff event on February 6,2004. was sampled for stormflow values, and the results support baseflow findings. The water quality of these streams is very good when compared with lower relief areas like the Piedmont, and none of the parameters measured in this study exceeds levels of known threat to stream biota. However, the demonstration that moderate reductions in forest cover are associated with stream water quality degradation carries important implications for stream management in this rapidly developing mountainous region.
- You may send email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationPrice, Katie; Leigh, David S. 2006. Comparative water quality of lightly-and moderately-impacted streams in the southern Blue Ridge Mountains, USA. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, Vol. 120: 269-300
Keywordsappalachian, human impact, land use, mountain stream, stream, suspended sediment
- Morphological and sedimentological responses of streams to human impact in the southern Blue Ridge Mountains, USA
- Watershed features and stream water quality: Gaining insight through path analysis in a Midwest urban landscape, USA
- Effects of livestock grazing on nutrient retention in a headwater stream of the Rio Puerco Basin
XML: View XML