Volker Bahn (Advisor), James Runkle (Committee Member), Yvonne Vadeboncoeur (Advisor)
Master of Science (MS)
Ohio is a state dominated by agricultural land use. Such land use may directly alter stream waters and instream habitat, which may, in turn, affect fish communities. To examine the effects of agricultural land use on Ohio stream fish communities, I analyzed data compiled by the Ohio EPA, spanning 15 years and including 2,474 statewide sites. For 253 of these sites, I derived land use profiles from the 2011 USGS National Land Cover Database. While habitat quality was not correlated with agriculture, nutrient concentrations, alkalinity and total dissolved solids were positively correlated with agricultural land use within the catchment. Fish community integrity was negatively correlated with nutrient enrichment. Populations of Campostoma anomalum, a ubiquitous algae-grazing fish, were negatively impacted by nutrient enrichment as well. These results give further support to the body of work which shows that intensive agriculture negatively impacts streams and their biotic communities.
Department or Program
Department of Biological Sciences
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