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Effects of Urbanization on Stream Ecosystems

This USGS study examines the response of a stream's biological communities, hydrology, habitat, and stream chemistry to urban development, and how these responses vary across the country.

Key findings include:

1.  Place matters: response to urban development depends on the region of the country

2.  All biological communities showed signs of negative impacts from urban development

3.  Immediate decline in macroinvertebrate community as urban development increases

4.  Urban development leads to a loss of sensitive species

5.  Regional differences exist in land types converted to urban uses

6.  The response of biota was weaker where prior land use activities had already degraded streams


United States Geological Survey

Effects of Urbanization on Stream Ecosystems

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