Location

Parker-Reed, SSWAC

Start Date

1-5-2014 10:00 AM

End Date

1-5-2014 11:00 AM

Project Type

Poster- Restricted to Campus Access

Description

Residential development of shoreland areas can negatively affect habitat structure and biological diversity of both riparian and littoral habitats. The objective of our study was to examine the influence of different degrees of shoreline development on characteristics that are indicators of a healthy riparian and littoral ecosystem associated with Great Pond, East Pond and North Pond in the Belgrade region of central Maine. Undeveloped reference sites, buffered developed sites and unbuffered developed sites were identified along the shorelines of each pond and surveys were conducted to assess indicators of ecosystem health, including cover and composition of riparian vegetation, buffer width, substrate composition, and invertebrate diversity in the littoral habitat. Reference and buffered developed sites had significantly greater shading along the shoreline and more heterogeneous plant growth along buffer strips than unbuffered developed sites. In the littoral habitat, unbuffered developed sites had significantly more sand, less cobble, a greater degree of embedded rocky substrate, less aufwuchs cover (i.e., algae and sessile invertebrates), and less woody structure than reference and buffered sites. The results of our research agree with those reported by Merrell et al. (2009, 2013) for other lakes in Maine and Vermont. Overall, we hope these data serve as important evidence for landowners that low impact development can result in minimal changes to riparian and littoral habitats when compared to undisturbed reference sites. Reducing the impact of shoreline development is important to maintain healthy lake ecosystems.

Sponsoring Department

Colby College. Biology Dept.

CLAS Field of Study

Natural Sciences

Event Website

http://www.colby.edu/clas

ID

588

Share

COinS
 
May 1st, 10:00 AM May 1st, 11:00 AM

The Influence of Shoreline Development on Riparian and Littoral Habitats in the Belgrade Lakes

Parker-Reed, SSWAC

Residential development of shoreland areas can negatively affect habitat structure and biological diversity of both riparian and littoral habitats. The objective of our study was to examine the influence of different degrees of shoreline development on characteristics that are indicators of a healthy riparian and littoral ecosystem associated with Great Pond, East Pond and North Pond in the Belgrade region of central Maine. Undeveloped reference sites, buffered developed sites and unbuffered developed sites were identified along the shorelines of each pond and surveys were conducted to assess indicators of ecosystem health, including cover and composition of riparian vegetation, buffer width, substrate composition, and invertebrate diversity in the littoral habitat. Reference and buffered developed sites had significantly greater shading along the shoreline and more heterogeneous plant growth along buffer strips than unbuffered developed sites. In the littoral habitat, unbuffered developed sites had significantly more sand, less cobble, a greater degree of embedded rocky substrate, less aufwuchs cover (i.e., algae and sessile invertebrates), and less woody structure than reference and buffered sites. The results of our research agree with those reported by Merrell et al. (2009, 2013) for other lakes in Maine and Vermont. Overall, we hope these data serve as important evidence for landowners that low impact development can result in minimal changes to riparian and littoral habitats when compared to undisturbed reference sites. Reducing the impact of shoreline development is important to maintain healthy lake ecosystems.

http://digitalcommons.colby.edu/clas/2014/program/62