Effects of Land Use and Land Cover on Freshwater Mussel Populations in the Upper Neuse River Basin, NC: A GIS Approach

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dc.contributor.advisor Dr. Hugh Devine, Committee Chair en_US
dc.contributor.advisor Dr. Jay Levine, Committee Member en_US
dc.contributor.advisor Dr. Heather Cheshire, Committee Member en_US
dc.contributor.author Andersen, Elizabeth F. en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2010-04-02T18:01:09Z
dc.date.available 2010-04-02T18:01:09Z
dc.date.issued 2002-12-03 en_US
dc.identifier.other etd-12022002-224912 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/1135
dc.description.abstract Land use practices can adversely affect water quality and freshwater mussel populations. Water quality can become degraded by siltation from development, pesticides and nutrients from agricultural fields, heavy metals and other toxins from urban runoff. The relationship between land use/land cover and freshwater mussel populations was investigated in the upper Neuse River basin in North Carolina. Mussel surveys were conducted from April to August of 2001 in the Eno, Flat, Smith, New Light, and Little River watersheds. Surveys (n=44) were conducted along 300-m transects upstream and downstream of bridges to examine the effect of bridge crossing structures on mussel assemblages. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) hydrological modeling tools were used to delineate upstream catchments of each sample site and to determine drainage areas. GIS was used to quantify land use/land cover within multiple spatial areas: upstream catchment, upstream riparian buffers (100 m and 250 m widths), and local riparian buffers (100 m and 250 m widths) immediate to the sample sites. Other environmental variables included stream slope, road density, water chemistry, and habitat quality assessment scores. No significant differences (p< .05) between mean mussel abundances due to location (upstream or downstream), distance from the bridge, or their interaction were observed in a split plot block design analysis. However, a slight decline in abundance was observed within the first 50 m downstream of the bridge. Future studies in additional subbasins of the Neuse and/or in other river basins could show a significant decline. Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA) and Nonmetric Multidimensional Scaling (NMS) ordinations described some of the variation in the mussel community structure (67% and 46% total variation respectfully). Both of the ordinations yielded similar community structures and environmental gradients. Moderate associations (r>.5) were observed between DCA and NMS axis 1 and several environmental factors including drainage area, localized urban regions, and habitat scores. Strophitus undulatus (Creeper) and Pyganodon cataracta (Eastern Floater) were the most strongly associated species with ordination axis 1 and occurred in sites characterized by small drainage areas, small habitat quality assessment scores, and low percentages of urban land cover immediate to the site. A GIS-based proximity analysis examined the relationship between mussel populations and distance to the nearest land cover type (urban, forest, row crop agriculture and non-row crop agriculture). Linear regressions revealed significant relationships (p<.05) between mussel assemblages and non-row crop agriculture (r&#178;, = .11) and urban land uses (r&#178;, = .11), but accounted for only 11% of the total variability in each case. Further investigation is needed to determine the environmental factors that contribute to mussel community structure. The study sampling design selected for highly forested areas. Inclusion of more urbanized regions could yield very different results. The upper Neuse study area was characterized by high mussel abundance and species richness and could be compared to other subbasins in the Neuse or other watershed in future studies. Repeat visitation to the sample sites could also investigate temporal and seasonal variations in mussel populations. en_US
dc.rights I hereby certify that, if appropriate, I have obtained and attached hereto a written permission statement from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted matter to be included in my thesis, dissertation, or project report, allowing distribution as specified below. I certify that the version I submitted is the same as that approved by my advisory committee. I hereby grant to NC State University or its agents the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible, under the conditions specified below, my thesis, dissertation, or project report in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. I retain all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis, dissertation or project report. I also retain the right to use in future works (such as articles or books) all or part of this thesis, dissertation, or project report. en_US
dc.subject Neuse River Basin en_US
dc.subject Freshwater Mussels en_US
dc.subject Water Quality en_US
dc.subject Bioindicators en_US
dc.subject Land Use/Land Cover en_US
dc.subject Unionids en_US
dc.subject Geographic Information Systems en_US
dc.subject GIS en_US
dc.subject Landscape Analysis en_US
dc.title Effects of Land Use and Land Cover on Freshwater Mussel Populations in the Upper Neuse River Basin, NC: A GIS Approach en_US
dc.degree.name MS en_US
dc.degree.level thesis en_US
dc.degree.discipline Natural Resources en_US


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