Regional data needed for effective stream restoration include hydraulic geometry relationships (i.e., regional curves) and reference channel morphology parameters. Increasingly ecological conditions are being considered when designing, implementing, and assessing restoration efforts. We provide morphology relationships and associated ecological endpoint curves for reference streams in the Alabama piedmont. Twenty-one reference stream reaches were identified in the Tallapoosa drainage of Alabama, ranging from 0.2 to 242 km2 drainage area. Geomorphic surveys were conducted in each stream to measure riffle cross-sections and longitudinal profiles and related to drainage area to develop regional curves. Fish, crayfish, and benthic macroinvertebrates were collected from each surveyed reach and related to drainage area and geomorphic data to provide associated biological community endpoints. Bankfull channel cross-section area, width, mean depth, and estimated discharge were strongly correlated to watershed drainage area, similar to efforts in other areas of the Piedmont ecoregion. Multiple measures of fish assemblages and crayfish size were strongly predicted by drainage area and geomorphic dimensions. Macroinvertebrates showed no taxonomic and limited functional relationships with drainage area and geomorphic dimension. These tools, which integrate geomorphological and ecological conditions, can result in improved stream evaluations and designs increasing the effectiveness of stream restoration projects.
Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering