2015 journal article
EVALUATING THE ECO-GEOMORPHOLOGICAL CONDITION OF RESTORED STREAMS USING VISUAL ASSESSMENT AND MACROINVERTEBRATE METRICS
JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN WATER RESOURCES ASSOCIATION, 51(1), 68–83.
Abstract The Stream Performance Assessment ( SPA ), a new rapid assessment method, was applied to 93 restored, 21 impaired, 29 reference, and 13 reference streams with some incision throughout North Carolina. Principal component analysis ( PCA ) indicated restored streams align more closely with reference streams rather than impaired streams. Further, PCA ‐based factor analysis revealed restored streams were similar to reference streams in terms of morphologic condition, but exhibited a greater range of scores relative to aquatic habitat and bedform. Macroinvertebrate sampling and GIS watershed analyses were conducted on 84 restored streams. SPA and watershed data were compared to Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera ( EPT ) taxa to determine which factors indicate stream health. SPA and watershed factors were used in least squares, ridge, and principal component regression ( PCR ) to develop a prediction model for EPT taxa. All three methods produced reasonable predictions for EPT taxa. Cross‐validation indicated ridge regression resulted in the lowest prediction error. The ridge model was then used to predict EPT taxa numbers for 21 impaired and 25 reference streams in addition to the 84 restored streams. Statistical comparisons of the predicted scores indicated urban streams (>10% impervious watershed cover) have lower expected numbers of EPT taxa. Rural restored streams have macroinvertebrate metric scores similar to those predicted for rural reference streams.