National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program - South Platte River Basin
PAST BIOLOGICAL ACTIVITIES
Biological and Habitat Conditions in the South Platte River Basin
Map and Data for This Study
To describe biological communities (algae, invertebrates, and fish)
and habitat conditions in selected environmental settings as a part
of an integrated assessment of water quality in the South Platte River
- Approach and Targeted Physical and Biological Data:
The 12 surface water quality sites were sampled for algae, invertebrate,
and fish and habitat characteristics were measured.
Sampled late July through September from 1993-1995.
- Selected Results:
A habitat degradation index (HDI) and an index
of biotic integrity (IBI), indicates that
most NAWQA monitoring sites are moderately degraded and that human
activities and local site characteristics have a greater effect on
habitat and fish communities than basin-scale characteristics such
as land use.
The relative abundance of families of fish were altered and the number
of invertebrate taxa were lower in mining-affected sites and urban,
agricultural and mixed land-use settings compared to sites that were
minimally affected by human activities such as forest and rangeland.