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dc.contributor.authorGovenor, Heather
dc.contributor.authorKrometis, Leigh Anne H.
dc.contributor.authorWillis, Lawrence
dc.contributor.authorAngermeier, Paul L.
dc.contributor.authorHession, W. Cully
dc.description.abstractSediment is the most commonly identified pollutant associated with macroinvertebrate community impairments in freshwater streams nationwide. Management of this physical stressor is complicated by the multiple measures of sediment available (e.g., suspended, dissolved, bedded) and the variability in natural "healthy" sediment loadings across ecoregions. Here we examine the relative importance of 9 sediment parameters on macroinvertebrate community health as measured by the Virginia Stream Condition Index (VSCI) across 5 ecoregions. In combination, sediment parameters explained 27.4% of variance in the VSCI in a multiregion data set and from 20.2% to 76.4% of variance for individual ecoregions. Bedded sediment parameters had a stronger influence on VSCI than did dissolved or suspended parameters in the multiregion assessment. However, assessments of individual ecoregions revealed conductivity had a key influence on VSCI in the Central Appalachian, Northern Piedmont and Piedmont ecoregions. In no case was a single sediment parameter sufficient to predict VSCI scores or individual biological metrics. Given the identification of embeddedness and conductivity as key parameters for predicting biological condition, we developed family-level sensitivity thresholds for these parameters, based on extirpation. Resulting thresholds for embeddedness were 68% for combined ecoregions, 65% for the Mountain bioregion (composed of Central Appalachian, Ridge and Valley, and Blue Ridge ecoregions), and 88% for the Piedmont bioregion (composed of Northern Piedmont and Piedmont ecoregions). Thresholds for conductivity were 366 μS/cm for combined ecoregions, 391 μS/cm for the Mountain bioregion, and 136 μS/cm for the Piedmont bioregion. These thresholds may help water quality professionals identify impaired and at-risk waters designated to support aquatic life and develop regional strategies to manage sediment-impaired streams. Inclusion of embeddedness as a restoration endpoint may be warranted; this could be facilitated by application of more quantitative, less time-intensive measurement approaches. We encourage refinement of thresholds as additional data and genus-based metrics become available. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2019;15:77-92. Published 2018. This article has been contributed to by US Government employees and their work is in the public domain in the USA.
dc.format.extentPages 77-92
dc.rightsIn Copyright (InC)
dc.rightsThis Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).
dc.subjectMacroinvertebrate bioassessment
dc.subjectSpecies sensitivity distribution
dc.subject03 Chemical Sciences
dc.subject05 Environmental Sciences
dc.subject06 Biological Sciences
dc.subjectEnvironmental Sciences
dc.subject.meshAquatic Organisms
dc.subject.meshEnvironmental Monitoring
dc.subject.meshGeologic Sediments
dc.subject.meshWater Pollutants, Chemical
dc.subject.meshWater Quality
dc.titleMacroinvertebrate sensitivity thresholds for sediment in Virginia streams.
dc.typeArticle - Refereed
dc.description.versionPublished (Publication status)
dc.description.noteslargely positive reviews with revisions requested, Dec 2017
dc.title.serialIntegrated environmental assessment and management
dc.type.otherJournal Article
dc.identifier.orcidHession, William [0000-0002-6323-3827]
pubs.organisational-group/Virginia Tech/Agriculture & Life Sciences
pubs.organisational-group/Virginia Tech
pubs.organisational-group/Virginia Tech/All T&R Faculty
pubs.organisational-group/Virginia Tech/Agriculture & Life Sciences/Biological Systems Engineering
pubs.organisational-group/Virginia Tech/Agriculture & Life Sciences/CALS T&R Faculty
pubs.organisational-group/Virginia Tech/University Research Institutes/Fralin Life Sciences/Fralin Affiliated Faculty
pubs.organisational-group/Virginia Tech/University Research Institutes/Fralin Life Sciences
pubs.organisational-group/Virginia Tech/University Research Institutes

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