Journal article

Ecologically relevant geomorphic attributes of streams are impaired by even low levels of watershed effective imperviousness

Geoff J Vietz, Michael J Sammonds, Christopher J Walsh, Tim D Fletcher, Ian D Rutherfurd, Michael J Stewardson



Urbanization almost inevitably results in changes to stream morphology. Understanding the mechanisms for such impacts is a prerequisite to minimizing stream degradation and achieving restoration goals. However, investigations of urban-induced changes to stream morphology typically use indicators of watershed urbanization that may not adequately represent degrading mechanisms and commonly focus on geomorphic attributes such as channel dimensions that may be of little significance to the ecological goals for restoration. We address these shortcomings by testing if a measure characterizing urban stormwater drainage system connections to streams (effective imperviousness, EI) is a better predict..

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Awarded by Australian Research Council Future Fellowship

Funding Acknowledgements

We would like to thank Nima Zorriasateyn and Ali Aien for fieldwork assistance and Dr. Eric Stein for a valuable review. This manuscript was greatly improved in both clarity and comprehensiveness by three anonymous reviewers and the editor Prof. Richard Marston, and we thank them for their involvement. Geoff Vietz was funded by the project Cities as Water Supply Catchments and the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities. Christopher Walsh and Michael Sammonds were funded by Melbourne Water through the Melbourne Waterway Protection and Restoration Science-Practice Partnership. Tim Fletcher is supported by an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship (FT100100144).