On the relationship between stream biotic diversity and exurbanization in the Northeastern USA

Scott Goetz, Gregory J. Fiske

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


Stream macroinvertebrate diversity is a commonly used indicator of aquatic health, reflecting overall ecological integrity within a watershed. Our study made use of two metrics of stream biota, the Hilsenhoff Biotic Index (HBI) and the diversity of Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Tricoptera (nEPT) species, to develop statistical models relating land cover information within watersheds to these stream biotic health indicators. The study area in southern New England included over 100 small streams, which make up a substantial portion of the region's largest catchments. General additive models (GAM) and step-wise multiple linear regression (MLR) models were used to explore the relationship between the land cover and the biotic indicators. Although the GAMs explained a greater amount of the variation in the stream biota metrics, the MLR models were also consistently reliable predictors of nEPT and HBI. This research indicates land cover can be used as a robust predictor of stream biological indicators of small catchments (HUC12) in the region, and help to target streams for restoration or protection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGeospatial Tools for Urban Water Resources
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9789400747340
ISBN (Print)9789400747333
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Aquatic
  • Biodiversity
  • Habitat
  • Impervious
  • Land cover
  • Land use
  • Remote sensing
  • Species richness
  • Stream
  • Water quality
  • Watershed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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