Committee Chair

Schorr, Mark S.

Committee Member

Wilson, Thomas; Mies, Jonathan; Carroll, Andy

Department

Dept. of Biological and Environmental Sciences

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Publisher

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)

Abstract

I studied environmental conditions, fish assemblages, and culvert features in 11 headwater streams (Tennessee and Conasauga river drainages) in Cherokee National Forest (Blue Ridge ecoregion), Tennessee, May-August 2008. Culvert-related effects on instream habitat and fish assemblages were measured at 10 stream sites: five sites contained culverts with artificial bottom substrates and five sites contained culverts with natural bottom substrates. On each stream, paired sampling reaches (reach length ~35 times mean reach width, drainage area <11 km 2) were established 50 m upstream and 50 m downstream of the culvert. Reaches downstream of culverts with artificial substrates (compared to upstream reaches; related-samples t test) exhibited greater water depths, lower gravel/sediment depths, and higher percentages of bedrock and boulder substrates (P < 0.10). Reaches downstream of natural substrate culverts (compared to upstream reaches) exhibited faster current velocities (P < 0.10). Fish abundance (predominantly western blacknose dace Rhinichthys obtusus) was consistently higher downstream than upstream (P < 0.10), regardless of the culvert type. In addition, reaches downstream of artificial substrate culverts exhibited reduced species evenness compared to upstream reaches. Mark-recapture experiments on two streams documented fish movements through a natural substrate culvert (similar to those in reference areas); however, movements through a perched pipe culvert were not detected. Data collected i n the present study suggest that culverts had localized effects on instream habitat and fish assemblages, and that certain types of culverts may impede fish dispersal.

Degree

M. S.; A thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Science.

Date

5-2009

Subject

Stream ecology.

Discipline

Environmental Sciences

Document Type

Masters theses

Extent

vi, 64 leaves

Language

English

Rights

Under copyright.

License

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/

Share

COinS