Abstract: Spatio‐temporal linkages between hydrologic and ecologic dimensions of watersheds play a critical role in conservation policies. Habitat potential is influenced by variation along longitudinal and lateral gradients and land use disturbance. An assessment of these influences provides critical information for protecting watershed ecosystems and in making spatially explicit, conservation decisions. We use an ecohydrologic approach that focuses on interface between hydrological and ecological processes. This study focuses on changes in watershed habitat potentials along lateral (riparian), and longitudinal (stream order) dimensions and disturbance (land use). The habitat potentials were evaluated for amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds in the Westfield River Watershed of Massachusetts using geographic information systems and multivariate analysis. We use a polynomial model to study nonlinear effects using robust regression. Various spatial policies were modeled and evaluated for influence on species diversity. All habitat potentials showed a strong influence along spatial dimensions and disturbance. The habitat potential for all vertebrate groups studied decreased as the distance from the riparian zone increased. Headwaters and lower order subwatersheds had higher levels of species diversity compared to higher order subwatersheds. It was observed that locations with the least disturbance also had higher habitat potential. The study identifies three policy criteria that could be used to identify critical areas within a watershed to conserve habitat suitable for various species through management and restoration activities. A spatially variable policy that is based on stream order, riparian distance, and land use can be used to maximize watershed ecological benefits. Wider riparian zones with variable widths, protection of headwaters and lower order subwatersheds, and minimizing disturbance in riparian and headwater areas can be used in watershed policy. These management objectives could be achieved using targeted economic incentives, best management practices, zoning laws, and educational programs using a watershed perspective.
Journal of the American Water Resources Association – Wiley
Published: Dec 1, 2007
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera