Bioassessment, the Human Disturbance Gradient, and Applicability to Environmental Decisions

Frydenborg, Russ and Frick, Tom (2004) Bioassessment, the Human Disturbance Gradient, and Applicability to Environmental Decisions. In: Wakulla Springs Scientific Symposium , May 13, 2004 ,Marjory Stoneman Douglas Building, Tallahassee, FL,

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A recommended procedure to develop scientifically valid biological assessment tools includes these following steps: • Classify aquatic systems into meaningful units. • Sample target biota across a human disturbance gradient (to define biological expectations). • Select relevant biological attributes that provide a reliable signal about human effects. • Extract and interpret patterns in the data. • Communicate results to policy makers. We discuss a system, known as the Human Disturbance Gradient, which establishes criteria, independent from the biology, to determine which sites are impaired by humans vs. those that are not. The HDG consists of land use information, hydrologic modification scores, habitat assessment scores, and water quality data. The HDG can be used to determine which attributes of biological community structure are effective discriminators of adverse human effects. These measures, known as metrics, should: • Provide meaningful measures of ecological structure or function. • Show a strong and consistent correlation with human disturbance. • Be statistically robust, with low measurement error. • Represent multiple categories of biological organization. • Be cost-effective to measure.Show responses that are not redundant with other metrics. An example of this procedure involving the recalibration of the Stream Condition Index and BioRecon methods is presented, as well as discussion of the applicability of bioassessment to environmental decisions. (51 slides in Powerpoint presentation.)

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item
Title: Bioassessment, the Human Disturbance Gradient, and Applicability to Environmental Decisions
Personal Creator/Author:
Frydenborg, Russ
Frick, Tom
Date: 2004
Event Title: Wakulla Springs Scientific Symposium
Event Type: Conference
Event Location: Marjory Stoneman Douglas Building, Tallahassee, FL
Event Dates: May 13, 2004
Uncontrolled Keywords: Springs; Florida; Species; Human impact; water quality
Subjects: Biology
Earth Sciences
Item ID: 759
Depositing User: Stephanie Haas
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2008 16:39
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2011 21:36

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