Title

9. Preliminary investigation of aquatic vertebrate diversity and anthropogenic impacts at Hurricane Creek, Lumpkin County, Georgia.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Jessica Patterson

Campus

Dahlonega

Proposal Type

Poster

Subject Area

Biology

Location

Nesbitt 3110

Start Date

23-3-2018 11:00 AM

End Date

23-3-2018 12:00 PM

Description/Abstract

The aquatic ecosystems of North Georgia are constantly under pressures related to human activity. Understanding the effects, both positive and negative, of certain structures and activities on the diversity of aquatic fauna and stream health can provide useful insights for future conservation and maintenance practices. In this study, we focused on a segment of Hurricane Creek running along a loblolly pine forest in Lumpkin County, Georgia, scheduled for clearing in the fall of 2018. Following Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) protocols and regulations, 250 fish representing 19 species were captured and identified using backpack electro fishers and nets within a 260-meter stretch. The assemblage is dominated by insectivorous cyprinid fish, indicative of a healthy aquatic habitat. Utilizing an aquatic vertebrate index of biotic integrity (IBI) on the sample gathered in correlation with parameters such as pH and a riffle/run habitat assessment, we determined that Hurricane Creek can be classified as in good health based on the IBI in the section we assessed. Given the projected future developmental activity along the stream segment investigated here, our preliminary assessment provides important quantitative, baseline data that can be used to measure the impact tree clearing, as well as other anthropogenic activities, has on the overall health and diversity of this aquatic ecosystem in the future.

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Mar 23rd, 11:00 AM Mar 23rd, 12:00 PM

9. Preliminary investigation of aquatic vertebrate diversity and anthropogenic impacts at Hurricane Creek, Lumpkin County, Georgia.

Nesbitt 3110

The aquatic ecosystems of North Georgia are constantly under pressures related to human activity. Understanding the effects, both positive and negative, of certain structures and activities on the diversity of aquatic fauna and stream health can provide useful insights for future conservation and maintenance practices. In this study, we focused on a segment of Hurricane Creek running along a loblolly pine forest in Lumpkin County, Georgia, scheduled for clearing in the fall of 2018. Following Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) protocols and regulations, 250 fish representing 19 species were captured and identified using backpack electro fishers and nets within a 260-meter stretch. The assemblage is dominated by insectivorous cyprinid fish, indicative of a healthy aquatic habitat. Utilizing an aquatic vertebrate index of biotic integrity (IBI) on the sample gathered in correlation with parameters such as pH and a riffle/run habitat assessment, we determined that Hurricane Creek can be classified as in good health based on the IBI in the section we assessed. Given the projected future developmental activity along the stream segment investigated here, our preliminary assessment provides important quantitative, baseline data that can be used to measure the impact tree clearing, as well as other anthropogenic activities, has on the overall health and diversity of this aquatic ecosystem in the future.