Land Use Effects on Aquatic Ecosystems
Landuse has a dominant influence on aquatic ecosystems due to its influence on the hydrologic cycle, water quality, stream habitat, aquatic species, and ultimately the overall function of the aquatic ecosystem. The USGS WSC is involved in the monitoring and research of landuse and how landuse activities influence aquatic ecosystems. This includes the influence of forest, urbanization, and agricultural systems. Much of this work is focused on determining the interactions of physical or chemical stressors and how they influence aquatic ecosystems. The influence of landuse on aquatic ecosystems can be done through assessing changes in species composition, fish heath, bioaccumulation of contaminants, alterations of habitat, excessive production of nuisance aquatic plants, or alterations in the ability of an aquatic ecosystem to function normally.