Associations between Riffles and Aquatic Biota following Lowhead Dam Removal: Implications for River Fish Conservation
A Graduate Defense Seminar will be presented by Danielle R. Vent, MS Candidate in Fisheries and Wildlife Science, on Monday (7/13) at 1:00 p.m. in 101 Heffner Wetland Research and Educatoin Building. Danielle will present Associations between Riffles and Aquatic Biota following Lowhead Dam Removal: Implications for River Fish Conservation.
Dam removal is a growing and widespread restoration approach. Stream restoration projects often aim to benefit aquatic biota and frequently use the recolonization of sensitive non-game species to evaluate the relative success of a restoration project. Habitat-use data are important for the conservation and management of aquatic species, but are largely unresolved for darters (small, insectivorous, benthic fish). This research sought to monitor and characterize the development of riffle flow habitats upstream and downstream of a lowhead dam removal on the Olentangy River of Columbus, Ohio, USA and to quantify the responses of benthic macroinvertebrates and riffle fish assemblages over time, with a focus on darter species (Etheostoma). Coordinated hydrogeomorphic, water chemistry, and biotic surveys were conducted at seven study riffles (six upstream of the previous dam, one downstream) at five time intervals from June 2014 thru June 2015. Collectively, our results indicate that the development of riffle habitats, in conjunction with changes in water quality, may be a quantitative importance in restoring biological diversity following dam removal.