The potential and limitations of linking biological monitoring data and restoration needs of urbanized waterways: a case study
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Type of Work35 pages
Citation of Original PublicationKemp SJ (2014) The potential and limitations of linking biological monitoring data and restoration needs of urbanized waterways: a case study. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 186: 3859–3873.
The implementation of effective strategies to mitigate the impacts of urbanization on waterways represents a major global challenge. Monitoring data plays an important role in the formulation of these strategies. Using monitoring and historical data compiled from around an urban area (Baltimore, USA), this paper is an assessment of the potential and limitations of the use of fish assemblage monitoring data in watershed restoration. A discriminant analysis between assemblages from urban and reference sites was used to determine components which have been reduced or eliminated from Baltimore area waterways. This analysis produced a strong discrimination between fish assemblages from urban and reference sites. Species primarily associated with reference sites varied taxonomically and ecologically, were generally classified as pollution intolerant, and were native. Species associated with urbanized sites were also native, varied taxonomically and ecologically, and were mixed in pollution tolerance. One factor linking most species associated with reference sites was spawning mode (lithophilic). Spawning habitat limitations may be the mechanism through which these species have been reduced in the urbanized faunas. While this presents a strong general hypothesis, information regarding the specific habitat requirements and responses to urbanization of these species is limited. This represents a major limitation to producing effective restoration strategies based on exact goals and targets. Without these, determining the type and number of restoration activities required to restore ecological communities remains problematic