Projected urban growth in the southeastern USA puts small streams at risk

Autoři: Peter C. Van Metre aff001;  Ian R. Waite aff002;  Sharon Qi aff002;  Barbara Mahler aff001;  Adam Terando aff003;  Michael Wieczorek aff004;  Michael Meador aff005;  Paul Bradley aff006;  Celeste Journey aff006;  Travis Schmidt aff007;  Daren Carlisle aff008
Působiště autorů: United States Geological Survey, Austin, Texas, United States of America aff001;  United States Geological Survey, Portland, Oregon, United States of America aff002;  United States Geological Survey, Raleigh, North Carolina, United States of America aff003;  United States Geological Survey, Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America aff004;  United States Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia, United States of America aff005;  United States Geological Survey, Columbia, South Carolina, United States of America aff006;  United States Geological Survey, Fort Collins, Colorado, United States of America aff007;  United States Geological Survey, Lawrence, Kansas, United States of America aff008
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(10)
Kategorie: Research Article


Future land-use development has the potential to profoundly affect the health of aquatic ecosystems in the coming decades. We developed regression models predicting the loss of sensitive fish (R2 = 0.39) and macroinvertebrate (R2 = 0.64) taxa as a function of urban and agricultural land uses and applied them to projected urbanization of the rapidly urbanizing Piedmont ecoregion of the southeastern USA for 2030 and 2060. The regression models are based on a 2014 investigation of water quality and ecology of 75 wadeable streams across the region. Based on these projections, stream kilometers experiencing >50% loss of sensitive fish and invertebrate taxa will nearly quadruple to 19,500 and 38,950 km by 2060 (16 and 32% of small stream kilometers in the region), respectively. Uncertainty was assessed using the 20 and 80% probability of urbanization for the land-use projection model and using the 95% confidence intervals for the regression models. Adverse effects on stream health were linked to elevated concentrations of contaminants and nutrients, low dissolved oxygen, and streamflow alteration, all associated with urbanization. The results of this analysis provide a warning of potential risks from future urbanization and perhaps some guidance on how those risks might be mitigated.

Klíčová slova:

Contaminants – Forests – Freshwater fish – Invertebrates – Land use – Pesticides – Urban areas – Urban ecology


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2019 Číslo 10
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