Skip to Main Content
Winners and losers among stream fishes in relation to land use legacies and urban development in the southeastern USAuthor(s): Mark C. Scott
Source: Biological Conservation, Vol. 127: 301-309
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
PDF: View PDF (1.86 MB)
DescriptionThe southeastern United States is a center of aquatic species diversity and endemism in North America, but many taxa are imperiled or in decline. Proactive conservation strategies depend on developing sensitive measures of ecological response to environmental degradation early in the process. In the southern Appalachian highlands, much of the region has reforested following extensive logging and agriculture in the last century, but recently exurban development has surged. Patterns of aquatic ecosystem response to these changes were examined in 36 watersheds along a gradient of forest cover from moderately to heavily forested. A linear combination of watershed-scale measures reflecting the extent contemporary forest cover, the trajectory of forest cover change over time, and building and road density were stronger predictors of fish assemblage composition than topographic features. A measure of biotic homogenization relating the abundance of endemic highland fishes to abundance of broad-ranged fishes was sensitive to the gradient of anthropogenic disturbance. Across the watershed disturbance gradient, cosmopolitan species were clear winners as forms unique to the Appalachian highlands were lost Similar measures of homogenization may be suitable elsewhere for tracking early warning signs of ecosystem stress, particularly in regions with significant endemism. Quantification of the homogenization process in response to urban development and other stressors is a promising avenue for proactive conservation, land use planning, and sustainable development efforts.
- You may send email to email@example.com 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.
CitationScott, Mark C. 2006. Winners and losers among stream fishes in relation to land use legacies and urban development in the southeastern US. Biological Conservation, Vol. 127: 301-309
- Climate change, aquatic ecosystems, and fishes in the Rocky Mountain West: implications and alternatives for management
- Using the hydrologic model mike she to assess disturbance impacts on watershed process and responses across the Southeastern U.S.
- Density- and trait-mediated top-down effects modify bottom-up control of a highly endemic tropical aquatic food web
XML: View XML