David Dickson

Date of Graduation

Fall 2012


Master of Natural and Applied Science in Biology



Committee Chair

Janice Greene


Land use, stream morphology, macroinvertebrates, water quality, Ozarks

Subject Categories



Changing land use practices have contributed substantially to an increase in stream degradation and biotic stresses. Clearing of forested areas, urbanization, and agricultural practices are a direct result of sustaining the ever increasing human population. In the Ozarks of Southwest Missouri, little research has been performed on these impacts on streams outside of the Springfield area, leaving much of this region without an account of such anthropogenic disturbances. To better assess the impacts of anthropogenic disturbances in southwest Missouri, four streams were chosen following the rural-urban disturbance gradient. Geomorphic, habitat, and hydrologic data was collected following the USGS National Water Quality Assessment (NAWQA) protocol with additional survey methods. Water quality was assessed for each stream through nutrient samples, water chemistry, and macroinvertebrate community analysis. Results provide evidence indicating that all streams in this study were considered degraded, both biologically and geomorphically and that anthropogenic influences have altered and affected all streams in this study with little regard to classification type. However, the degree and severity of impairment varied among stream types. Percent shading and water temperature were the only factors significant correlated to land use that also had a high degree of similarity with the macroinvertebrate community indices. This suggests that in impaired stream reaches, shading, and the environmental factors it can influence, can have a substantial impact on the success rate of the macroinvertebrate communities within these streams.


© David Dickson

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