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HABITAT COMPARISON BETWEEN IMPAIRED AND REFERENCE STREAMS

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  Watershed Management to Meet Water Quality Standards and Emerging TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) Proceedings of the Third Conference 5-9 March 2005 (Atlanta, Georgia USA) Publication Date 5 March 2005  701P0105.(doi:10.13031/2013.18104)
Authors:   C.-X. Jin, G. O. Brown, D. E. Storm
Keywords:   Habitat comparison, reference streams, impaired streams, Oklahoma

Sediment loads or rating curves from reference streams are often taken as the target in restoring impaired streams. Many studies addressed this issue. However, habitat differences between the impaired and reference streams are poorly quantified. This paper tries to address the issues through comparing parameters on the micro-scale habitats (such as bottom substrate, cover, and flow condition), macro-scale habitats (such as channel geometry and sediment deposition), and parameters evaluating the riparian and bank structure (such as bank stability, vegetation, and streamside cover) between the impaired and reference streams in the State of Oklahoma. A total of eighteen streams west of I35 were studied, of which eight were reference streams and ten were impaired streams. Significant differences in the compared parameters were found between the reference and the impaired streams. The result is helpful in answering why the reference streams are healthier than the impaired streams; identifying the impaired streams; and guiding the restoration of the impaired streams.

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