Recovery in diversity of fish and invertebrate communities following remediation of a polluted stream: investigating causal relationships

  • Published source details Adams S.M., Ryon M.G. & Smith J.G. (2005) Recovery in diversity of fish and invertebrate communities following remediation of a polluted stream: investigating causal relationships. Hydrobiologia, 542, 77-93.


Action: Manage pollution (multiple interventions)

A site comparison study in 1988–2002 of two streams in Tennessee, USA (Adams et al. 2005) found that after multiple interventions to reduce pollution, algal biomass increased at sites near the pollution source. At two sites approximately 1 km downstream of the pollution source, the biomass of algae on rocks increased over time: from 7–20 µg chl a/cm2 in the first five years after intervention, to 36–51 µg chl a/cm2 9–15 years after intervention. There was no significant change in algal biomass over time at a third site approximately 9 km further downstream (data not reported). The same was true for an adjacent unpolluted stream (4–15 µg chl a/cm2 throughout study). Methods: East Fork Poplar Creek historically received pollutants (e.g. organic compounds, heavy metals, chlorine) from a nuclear weapons facility. From the mid to late 1980s, pollution was reduced by treating some wastewater on site before release into the stream, diverting some wastewater to treatment facilities elsewhere, adding fresh water to dilute remaining pollutants, and removing contaminated sediment from the floodplain (see also Loar et al. 2011). Algae were surveyed four times/year in three sites in the historically polluted stream (two upstream: 1988–2002; one downstream: 1988–1995) and one site in an adjacent unpolluted stream (1988–2002). Chlorophyll a was extracted from the surface of four rocks/site/survey.

Additional reference: Loar J.M., Stewart A.J. & Smith J.G. (2011) Twenty-five years of ecological recovery of East Fork Poplar Creek: review of environmental problems and remedial actions. Environmental Management, 47, 1010–1020.

Output references
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