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Title: A reference condition index for urban streams
Authors: Pruitt, Bruce A.
McKay, S. Kyle
Keywords: Stream restoration
Urban watersheds
Ecosystem Management and Restoration Research Program (U.S.)
Publisher: Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Series/Report no.: Technical Note (Ecosystem Management and Restoration Research Program (U.S.)) ; no. ERDC/TN EMRRP-SR-81
Abstract: Abstract: Urbanization presents a significant threat to the physical, chemical, and biological condition of stream ecosystems as well as associated wetlands and riparian zones. Constraints of developed areas (e.g., unmovable infrastructure) often limit options for urban stream restoration as well as the potential for ecological improvement. Reference conditions are often used in ecosystem restoration as benchmarks against which success (or failure) may be measured, and their use can be particularly valuable in highly altered areas. This technical note presents a generic approach to development and application of a “reference condition index” (RCI) for evaluating the relative success of restoration actions in altered urban environments. Key considerations in development of the RCI are presented through three brief case studies related to the ecological impacts of impervious surfaces, water quality benefits of forest cover, and chemical impairment from industrial effluent. The RCI provides a straightforward set of methods for meaningfully rescaling ecological metrics, quantitatively incorporating reference conditions into environmental benefits analyses, and increasing understanding through clear communication of project outcomes.
Description: Technical Note
Gov't Doc #: ERDC/TN EMRRP-SR-81
Rights: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited
Appears in Collections:Technical Note

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