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The importance of natural versus human factors for ecological conditions of streams and rivers
Tang, Tao1; Stevenson, R. Jan2; Grace, James B.3
2020-02-20
Source PublicationSCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT
ISSN0048-9697
Volume704Issue:1Pages:13
Abstract

Streams are influenced by watershed-scale factors, such as climate, geology, topography, hydrology, and soils, which mostly vary naturally among sites, as well as human factors, agriculture and urban development. Thus, natural factors could complicate assessment of human disturbance. In the present study, we use structural equation modeling and data from the 2008-2009 United States National Rivers and Streams Assessment to quantify the relative importance of watershed-scale natural and human factors for in-stream conditions. We hypothesized that biological condition, represented using a diatom multimetric index (MMI), is directly affected by in-stream physicochemical environment, which in turn is regulated by natural and human factors. We evaluated this hypothesis at both national and ecoregion scales to understand how influences vary among regions. We found that direct influences of in-stream environment on diatom MMIs were greater than natural and human factors at the national scale and in all but one ecoregion. Meanwhile, in-stream environments were jointly explained by natural variations in precipitation, base flow index, hydrological stability, % volcanic rock, soil water table depth, and soil depth and by human factors measured as % crops, % other agriculture, and % urban land use. The explained variance of in-stream environment by natural and human factors ranged from 0.30 to 0.75, for which natural factors independently accounted for the largest proportion of explained variance at the national scale and in seven ecoregions. Covariation between natural and human factors accounted for a higher proportion of explained variance of in-stream environment than unique effects of human factors in most ecoregions. Ecoregions with relatively weak effects by human factors had relatively high levels of covariance, high levels of human disturbance, or small ranges in human disturbance. We conclude that accounting for effects of natural factors and their covariation with human factors will be important for accurate ecological assessments. (C) 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

KeywordCovarying effects Structural equation modeling Macro-variables Composite variable In-stream environment Biological condition
DOI10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.135268
Indexed BySCI
Language英语
WOS Research AreaEnvironmental Sciences & Ecology
WOS SubjectEnvironmental Sciences
WOS IDWOS:000504672800142
WOS KeywordBIOLOGICAL CONDITION GRADIENT ; DIATOM REFERENCE COMMUNITIES ; STRUCTURAL EQUATION MODELS ; LAND-USE ; INVERTEBRATE ASSEMBLAGES ; NUTRIENT CONCENTRATIONS ; WATER-QUALITY ; INDEX ; SEDIMENT ; IMPACTS
PublisherELSEVIER
Citation statistics
Cited Times:1[WOS]   [WOS Record]     [Related Records in WOS]
Document Type期刊论文
Identifierhttp://ir.ihb.ac.cn/handle/342005/35240
Collection淡水生态学研究中心_期刊论文
Corresponding AuthorTang, Tao
Affiliation1.Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Hydrobiol, State Key Lab Freshwater Ecol & Biotechnol, Wuhan 430072, Hubei, Peoples R China
2.Michigan State Univ, Ctr Water Sci, Dept Integrat Biol, E Lansing, MI 48824 USA
3.US Geol Survey, 700 Cajundome Blvd, Lafayette, LA 70506 USA
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
Tang, Tao,Stevenson, R. Jan,Grace, James B.. The importance of natural versus human factors for ecological conditions of streams and rivers[J]. SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT,2020,704(1):13.
APA Tang, Tao,Stevenson, R. Jan,&Grace, James B..(2020).The importance of natural versus human factors for ecological conditions of streams and rivers.SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT,704(1),13.
MLA Tang, Tao,et al."The importance of natural versus human factors for ecological conditions of streams and rivers".SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT 704.1(2020):13.
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