Date of Award

8-1-2012

Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Environmental Sciences/Environmental, Earth & Ocean Sciences

First Advisor

Ellen M. Douglas

Second Advisor

Alan D. Christian

Third Advisor

Alex M. Hackman

Abstract

The goal of this study was to compare the physical habitat characteristics and macroinvertebrate and fish communities among an actively restored stream, a passively restored stream, and a local reference stream. This was accomplished through physical habitat evaluation and fish and macroinvertebrate biomonitoring at the Eel River headwaters restoration (active restoration completed in 2010), an abandoned cranberry bog at Tidmarsh Farms on Beaver Dam Brook (passive restoration via removal from commercial farming for approximately 10 years), and on the East Branch of the Eel River (reference stream) in September 2010 and June 2011. We expected to observe a difference in fish and macroinvertebrate community structures among the three sites, with the Eel River restoration reaches more resembling the reference reaches than the abandoned cranberry bog reaches. My results also show that habitat quality and heterogeneity was best at the actively restored and reference sites, and that fish and macroinvertebrate communities were different across all sites. Macroinvertebrate communities at the Eel River headwaters were not found to be significantly different in a rank sum test of pre- and post-restoration samples. From this study I conclude that active restoration created habitat heterogeneity, but fish and benthic macroinvertebrate communities of the active restoration are different from both passive restoration and the reference condition at this time.

Comments

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