Abstract

Headwater streams generally comprise the majority of stream area in a watershed and can have a strong influence on downstream food webs. Our objective was to determine the effect of altering streamside management zone (SMZ) configurations on headwater aquatic insect communities. Timber harvests were implemented within six watersheds in eastern Kentucky. The SMZ configurations varied in width, canopy retention and best management practice (BMP) utilization at the watershed scale. Benthic macroinvertebrate samples collected one year before and four years after harvest indicated few differences among treatments, although post-treatment abundance was elevated in some of the treatment streams relative to the unharvested controls. Jaccard index values were similar across SMZ treatments after logging, indicating strong community overlap. These findings suggest that stream invertebrate communities did respond to the timber harvest, though not negatively. Results also suggest that SMZ criteria for aquatic habitats in steeply sloping topography, including at least 50 percent canopy retention and widths of at least 16.8 m, appear to be adequate for protecting benthic macroinvertebrate communities from logging impacts.

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-21-2016

Notes/Citation Information

Published in Water, v. 8, issue 6, 261, p. 1-15.

© 2016 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.3390/w8060261

Funding Information

This work was supported in part by the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station.