Publications: Peer-reviewed journal articles (by staff)

Quantifying relationships between land-use gradients and structural and functional indicators of stream ecological integrity

1 January, 2012
CITATION

Clapcott JE, Collier KJ, Death RG, Goodwin EO, Harding JS, Kelly DJ, Leathwick JR, Young RG 2012. Quantifying relationships between land-use gradients and structural and functional indicators of stream ecological integrity. Freshwater Biology 57(1): 74-90. Full text available here.

ABSTRACT

Modification of natural landscapes and land-use intensification are global phenomena that can result in a range of differing pressures on lotic ecosystems. We analysed national-scale databases to quantify the relationship between three land uses (indigenous vegetation, urbanisation and agriculture) and indicators of stream ecological integrity. Boosted regression tree modelling was used to test the response of 14 indicators belonging to four groups water quality (at 578 sites), benthic invertebrates (at 2666 sites), fish (at 6858 sites) and ecosystem processes (at 156 sites). Our aims were to characterise the ecological response curves of selected functional and structural metrics in relation to three land uses, examine the environmental moderators of these relationships and quantify the relative utility of metrics as indicators of stream ecological integrity.