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dc.contributor.authorPrice, Kendall Susanen_US
dc.date.accessioned2014-03-14T20:34:23Z
dc.date.available2014-03-14T20:34:23Z
dc.date.issued2012-02-03en_US
dc.identifier.otheretd-04262012-205413en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10919/31952
dc.description.abstractCattle exclusion from streams is believed to improve riparian vegetation, in-stream habitat, and composition of aquatic organisms. Yet research on the effects of cattle exclusion have yielded conflicting results. The goal of this study was to examine relationships between physical habitat and benthic macroinvertebrate populations with increasing downstream distance from cattle-impacted stream segments, and determine which physical habitat and chemical water quality parameters are affected by cattle presence. Macroinvertebrates from 24 sites in Rockingham County, VA were used to calculate bioassessment metrics. Fourteen sites made up 4 longitudinal studies where improvement of biotic condition with distance from cattle impact was examined. Linear regression and multilevel modeling results indicated improving macroinvertebrate assemblage with increasing distance downstream from cattle-impacted reaches. Presence of riparian trees and distance from impact had a positive influence on bioassessment scores. A total of 39 stream sites in the Shenandoah Valley were classified using the Rapid Habitat Assessment (RHA) which is based on 10 visual evaluations of physical characteristics. Four of the ten RHA parameters, embeddedness, bank stability, vegetative protection, and riparian vegetative zone width, along with the total RHA score, were associated with cattle presence. This study found that a) RHA factors reflect direct cattle impacts on the riparian zone, but RHA has limitations as a general predictor of cattle impact, b) cattle influence on benthic macroinvertebrates extends hundreds of meters beyond the immediate pasture boundary, and c) improvement in Virginia Stream Condition Index can be predicted as a function of distance downstream.en_US
dc.publisherVirginia Techen_US
dc.relation.haspartPrice_KS_T_2012.pdfen_US
dc.rightsI 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 Virginia Tech 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.subjectwater quality metricsen_US
dc.subjectrapid habitat assessmenten_US
dc.subjectbenthic macroinvertebratesen_US
dc.subjectstream fencingen_US
dc.subjectcattleen_US
dc.subjectVirginiaen_US
dc.subjectShenandoah Valleyen_US
dc.titleEffects of Cattle Exclusion on Stream Habitat in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginiaen_US
dc.typeThesisen_US
dc.contributor.departmentBiological Systems Engineeringen_US
dc.description.degreeMaster of Scienceen_US
thesis.degree.nameMaster of Scienceen_US
thesis.degree.levelmastersen_US
thesis.degree.grantorVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineBiological Systems Engineeringen_US
dc.contributor.committeechairHeatwole, Conrad D.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberWebster, Jackson R.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberHession, W. Cullyen_US
dc.identifier.sourceurlhttp://scholar.lib.vt.edu/theses/available/etd-04262012-205413/en_US
dc.date.sdate2012-04-26en_US
dc.date.rdate2012-05-29
dc.date.adate2012-05-29en_US


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